South of Boston
The two men are standing on the side of
The road, the threshold of the field before
Them, and the fire from the barn can be felt
A hundred yards away, a soft, warm prickle.
The two are silent, and from the first to
The second, one passes a joint to the
Other, a careful pinch of the paper.
“It’s been burning since last night.”
“I’m not lying.”
And the barn was burning, all through the night
And the morning. The rapture of the ash
And the little flames was a dancing, fleeting
Affair, stretching the orange ghosts into
A miraculous, matte blue cloud. They smoke.
“It’s really been burning all night?”
“All morning too.”
“Damn.” – long inhale – “Even candles only have so much wax.”
Long exhale. The two men, although they are
Really not even men, the two men watch
From across the long field, backs to the road,
The liminal dome connecting their globe
to the sky and the barn and the rapture.
There are cars, for it is noon, or rather
There must now be cars, for it is noon, but
None stop and no one stands on the road with
The two boys to watch the fire, to watch the
Barn slowly ebb away and lose its mettle.
“You have any butts?”
“Not with me” – tapping his jacket’s sides.
There is a path through the field, made with feet,
A little ways to their left. There is no crop;
The field is completely, surely dead.
And so the path is the only thing in
The field, the only human connection
Between the boys and the barn, the great fire.
“It’s pretty hot as is.”
“I shouldn’t get any closer.”
And the rapture is beautiful before
Them and to the entire world around them,
And no cars stop to watch heaven’s calling
And no man or boy hears a father’s call
Until the fire has ascended on past
The gold, the white, the leaves, the blue, the stars.
“Sure is a good fire, though.”
BIO: Jacob Johnson is a fiction and poetry writer from Massachusetts.