In 1984, in the dark, on the backroad
up from Emerson Trail, if you need to know
exactly, we saw fire in the sky. my brother and i
U2 hammering a yowl about A Sort of Homecoming
i saw the coming time, when i would finally go
around that big bend in the highway and fly
out into the big, throbbing world.
he saw, in gas flares flicking by
a River of Fire in the future. it comes to this
he said, face and voice underlit
they will not stop until earthquakes.
his voice breaking. like his back. like his heart.
like his will. like his skull, not two years on.
i did not say that he was wrong. and lacked
the words to say, but the world still waits
in beauty, full of other roads, more visions
and i want it. so i held silence and the vinyl
armrest, breathing in time with guitar
inside, howling with all my might.
was it then that i knew? i’d never
get to bring him with me. my road
has been so beautiful, but so few
ever saw his beauty. and this cost
keeps getting paid, by young man
after young man after girl who
die unreached. the unforgettable fire
double edged, it devours, or burns within.