Susan Cohen

In the Golden Hills of California

This light began in lamentation,
but I don’t want to think
about the unmaking, the burning
hopes and homes a hundred miles
from here. This light is strangely
sewn with honey as if thimbled
from the flight of bees. It drifts down 
through maples and the cedar, 
burnishes our scarred floorboards
to yellow oak this morning, 
our walls to butter. In the fabled state
we live in, somewhere always is on fire—
dry grasses torching, shingles searing, 
latches melting, thousands of acres of forest 
reduced to the single syllable of ash—
while elsewhere that combustion blends
light and gold we can savor like wine,
which also begins with crushing.