Garage Fire by Terry Adams


He began all his dreams in those curled painted flowers
on the wall facing his bed
as the house quieted.

then he was dreaming the flowers burning and
his cousin with flames on his face
shaking him

under the window glowing and ticking with heat –
then the black spider nets his bicycle spokes
the seat charred tower of bare springs
where he dreamed of riding no-handed
and it came true

then the smoldering flowers were above
his pallet on the school floor beside
black axe-head, melted rake,
nested saws welded scattered
sins of screwdrivers with no

then he got on his knees to look out
the window at the blackened
yard and remembered watching the one
black side of all those rescuing

pulsing with odd light as they yelled
throwing water and dirt
their red flat faces fastened
to huge shadows
bending and weaving
across the glass.

Terry Adams has poems in Poetry, Ironwood, The Sun, Witness, College English, Catamaran, The Painted Bride Quarterly, and elsewhere. He MCs a yearly poetry festival at the Beat Museum in San Francisco, and co-MCs, with Joe Cottonwood, the monthly “Lit Night” in La Honda. His collection, Adam’s Ribs, is available from Off The Grid Press. He lives in Ken Kesey’s infamous 1960’s cabin in La Honda, California, which he rescued from destruction in 1998.

Painting by Jenn Zed.

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