Milwaukee Warehouse Fire

the night was red

with the heat of the fire,

the winter river's ice reflected the same.

the men on either side of the river

fought the fire, their faces

black & wet.

& i dreamed our child

left my body

with such heat & push

the sheets started on fire,

orange as autumn flowers

and as sweet smelling.

when the lights are off

& i rub my eyes, it is orange.

i see fields of pumpkins & burning trees.

the fire was long and tall

through the warehouses

& up into the night.

people left their warm houses

to stand on the bridge over the river

& watch

& all their eyes were orange.

children cried to stay up & out,

& men looking from tavern windows

remembered things they'd never known.

we came home to tell our own children

& just then, just like in the movies,

it started to rain—in january

it started to rain.

people who came from everywhere

began to return,

the orange & red colors

running down their cheeks,

their eyes turning back

to their own colors.