Red Desert; Revision

Sometimes, on late summer afternoons

when the smoke is especially bad,


the sun becomes a sanguine orb presiding

over the vast red desert of the sky.


At such times, the world ceases

to belong to us, and we are interlopers


on a faraway planet, huddled anxiously

in our makeshift shelters, awaiting


the horrors that may creep out

from the dark and tangled forests by night.


Sometimes, on warm summer evenings

when the smoke is especially bad,


ash, like snow, drifts lazily down

from the towering red pillars in the sky.


At such times, the air becomes toxic

and we stand like smeared shadows


on a silhouette world, gazing upwards

at the grand and dusty nebula


that graces the heavens tonight.

For it, like everything, is star dust


but the light from our sun is star rust

and this colossal particulate fortress


will give birth to no new life,

only lightning to bite and claw


at the ground, setting free of the soil

the rampaging beasts therein confined


to mar the silence of the night

with the rumble of their hooves


and the thick panting of their breath

from the hot, dry depths of their lungs.

The End

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