Fire Blight
Nick Martino

The woods are gone,
razed before fire blight could take them. See,
this is what I wanted to show you, my friend says.
I see nothing that I knew: outside our middle school
those slender tines of birch. A river of starlings
rushes through the sky
& disappears. So this is ita duet of us
attending to what’s vanished.
Light fills the car like seawater.
My heart swivels on its green, wooden stem
is there a new way of seeing? I look
for fugitive beauty in the bulldozed. I call
the whole blue ache to me, but with the plummet
& the tumult
of an earth-bound body, I can’t help what I love.

Nick Martino grew up in Milwaukee along the ocean of Lake Michigan. He attended Wesleyan University and taught first grade for two years before landing at the MFA program in poetry at UC Irvine.


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