Glossy red kerosene tank
squats on iron legs, tangled
with pokeweeds and honeysuckle
fueling this blistered white farmhouse.
Fat iron watermelon holds
150 gallons, brimming with juice.
I stare into oily depths,
tap it with a fingernail to detect
Summer days, lungs of cotton,
candles of wonder,
warm rituals a shrine of justice
across the heated acres.
Seasons are patterned in folded quilts
mothballed in the furnace room.
Muscled geese and tattered butterflies
herd for the southern border.
The fever worsens into autumn
I can barely restrain the whispers:
Dry cornfields rustle like rattlesnakes,
pine needles crackle, parched
beneath the feet of small animals.
I have made all the preparations, yes.
Wicks soaked, brush piled, perimeters mapped.
This monolith, red as a bucket of blood
waits eager to enflame forests and fields.
I will sear frost, blacken dusk, tarnish the moon.
I will write my name across the sky
with a maelstrom of fire and ash.
Hear it gurgling on the lawn.