Tiffany Higgins

Go Out of the Burning House

Smoke in the air, and the horizon
Of trees lit up orange.

Go out. Go out of the burning.
Go out of the burning house.

You can stay and defend it.
Many have.

You can linger a while over
The possessions. Consider

Photographs, coffee cup,
Computer, diaries.

Where is your soul in these?
Go out, go out without them.

Do not return for the dog,
I know her, she will find

Her way out. Go out
With nothing but your soul

In your hands. It is light,
It is not much to carry.

It is what you came here with,
Remember? With suffering

And time, you have made
It better. You can be proud.

Now go out, go out
Of the burning house.

You’ve become more generous.
We can see it in your hands,

Swinging by your side,
Opened toward the sky,

As you stride out, out
Of the burning house.

Your memories live in skin,
Future also dwells in cells.

It is not the thing
But the becoming.

You and I, we are making
Something beautiful together:

Music on the horizon.
Walk toward it.

It fades, and you’re alone,
On the smoldering earth.

Press your face onto it.
In a thin t-shirt

Leave, leave, walk out
Depart from the burning house.

Possessionless you’ll sleep
Tonight. Lay your head down.

Bed of the earth, shifting
Sounds of the desert.

It takes you, it’s been waiting
For you. Finally you have come.

You lay yourself
Down upon it.

Like a prostitute,
You hold nothing in your hands.

You murmur, The rattlesnakes…
As you fade to sleep.

Cracks in earth
Sear your cheek.

In the wind, you hear:
Trade fear

For faith.

In what?

You ask. The desert gestures
Around you. Anything

But this, desert says, placing

Its hand, hot, on your chest.
You wake. What is it?

You turn to see. Behind you,
Lifting from the desert floor, arching across black sky,

Smears of light, magenta-blue.
It is the soul of something that is not you.

Soul of the universe.  Not
The thing but the becoming. It lulls

You back to sleep. You wake,
Hand on your back. Turn to see

Friends, kneeling beside,
Who say, Been wishing for you all night.

You snooze.
Wake to the dawn,

Yellow-red. This time it might be real.
You ask, Which one are you? It answers:

Nothing but the love you have loved,
Love you have made between others.

Alone, you nod, and rise, brush
Yourself off, prepare to walk

Toward them.
You’d do it again:

Go out, go out
Of the burning house.

You hold nothing,
You hold        

In your hands.