#CampFire: 101 Burning by J. Khan


Too soon to sort
the loss. Spin cycle
wobbles vowels,

as they burst,
smoke snuffs Paradise.
Skin sloughs on 99.

I donate
our fleece to the shelter.

Fortunes reside
along the 101 where castles
carve the light.

Evacuees pitch tents at Walmart,
search the clothing pile for warmth.

A few still qualify
for the Evening News
costume show.

The gymnasium
lacks a floor. Sacramento kneels
before funds disappear.

Road blocks tumble,
canyons creep. Truth reposes

Perhaps I shouldn’t,
but I believe in America. Why,
so many ask,

as battalions
of prisoners arrive
to douse the fire,

to sort the missing
from the ash.



J. Khan lives and works in the Midwest. He has published over thirty poems in journals such as Clockwise Cat, Rigorous, Unlikely Stories, I-70 Review, Fifth Estate, Writers Resist, Barzakh, Pure Slush, and shufPoetry. He is finishing a chapbook and beginning book length manuscript.

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