Burnt sage

The flames began like a dry-heave migraine
how did we miss the warnings
the auras flashing on the periphery
the smoldering under embankments blanketed in  lush succulents
the name that became a nightmare mantra
of breaking news alerts
on memes of schemes
on late-night laughs that regurgitated as overnight tweets
and early morning bugle calls
checking to see what match he scratched while we slept

The firestorms grew to infernos
entire towns burnt to the ground
invasions of murder hornets
blood-thirsty ankle-biter skeeters
relentless supercolonies of tiny Argentine ants
the pestilence grew microscopic and virulent
in a matter of weeks, a virus shut down the world,
while wall street weighed threats versus  opportunities
leaders turned a blind eye
small businesses played Mother May I?
Stop. Go. Stop. Go.
everyone loses someone, something, everything
a million will die
best laid plans have gone awry
all flights canceled
Europe and Canada locked us out
teachers school a screen of faces in a grid
families reinventing daily life
seniors homed in isolation cells wretched with solitary death
heath care providers battle bureaucrats and political agendas
their faces scarred from their masks
their hearts scarred from the lack of them
Black Lives Matter activists under attack
for demanding justice and equity
peaceful protests incited to riots by agent provocateurs
to justify militarizing our cities with federal thugs
climate scientists watching their foretold predictions unfold
in an Apocalyptic horror show of storms, floods and flames
knowing we’ve already crept beyond the tipping point
One Friday to the next
Ginsberg went from dying to lying in state
but they couldn’t wait
to toss her dying wish on the pyre

As both ends of the candle burn closer, closer
I spend hours scrolling through posts artificial intelligence has woven just for me
searching for an ember of hope that we can still save this democracy
but line by lie, I can no longer sort it out.
The sage I lit to light the way
is nearly burnt out.