Blue base and feathered gold
light sprouting agave
toss pent up heat
My cheeks catch hot and flush rose, and
juniper sweet smoke blows
over my tongue as
I taste screaming wood
and chemical starter
assaults my nose.
The hickory crack burn rages
yet a chill remains, stubborn
at my neck’s nape and root of
my spine, the place where the denim
of my jeans ends, gaping beltless
beneath the edge
of my sanguine shirt,
cold pouring upward grazing skin.
Or perhaps it is in my imagination,
a background recognition
that cold refuses to leave; it only
becomes buried by the creeping hot air
as striated wood releases itself
into oblivion, sucking oxygen.
It’s better than the worms.
And I peer into the flame with
unfocused vision, reality clouded by
smoky scotch, melting into peaty warmth
neurons of me not bloomed here,
not touched by the flame
though in it I give myself permission
to see what isn’t there,
faces of people forgotten, beasts with
Low moans, gurgles and hoots and
absent sounds emanate
from the fire even as it
flickers in death and
folds into the ash
leaving behind astral embers
lest we be left,
thinking that none of it mattered
Josephine Pino is an educator, social justice warrior, and marine biochemist who recently discovered a passion for poetry. She enjoys exploring the intersecting lines between humans, emotions and nature. Josephine grew up in the rich cultural and natural beauty of New Mexico and now resides near lovely green Portland, Oregon. She teaches Biology at Portland Community College. She recently published her first poem, in El Portal.
"As a biologist, I find poignancy in the beautiful intricacy of things that we know exist although we cannot see them directly. "Campfire, sanguine" spilled forth during a time in which I was in the midst of a mysterious health scare and it represents both my fear for my future and a recognition of the beauty of life yet to be lived."