December 12, 2017

Amy Miller

THE WORLD ENTIRE

In the pink video the rabbit
keeps moving and the man
could be a hunter or a drunk until
you see what he’s doing—he’s saving
you, world, the singed pelt of your panic
that’s running toward the fire.
You have this crazy impulse to go
home, regardless of how it burned,
is burning even now. The safe
little room remains in your mind,
the quiet, the bed. So you turn back
to the flaming ground, trees
screaming, blood sky, back
to what’s gone and what
you remember. But the man
won’t stop calling, as obsessed
as you, so now you run
toward him and his hand
finds some loose part of you
to pull and then suddenly
he’s warm and telling you
I have you. You don’t know
where he’s carrying you—
the camera stops too soon—
and it was only random math,
spark, ignition, two arcs,
trajectories that brought you
both here, but now
he’s walking you right out
of hell, both of you
so alive and surprised.

from Poets Respond
December 12, 2017

[download audio]

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Amy Miller: “Out of the horrible news of this week’s fires in Southern California came this wonderful, strangely moving video footage of an unidentified man saving a panicked rabbit from a raging fire along a roadside in La Conchita, CA. It’s hard to watch it and not think of metaphors of a world in flames and one person compelled to bravery to save just one soul, the one that’s in peril right in front of him. It brought to my mind the old adage of ‘Whoever saves a life saves the world entire,’ attributed variously to the Talmud, the Quran, and Oskar Schindler.” (website)

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