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Nature is burning.  The city is burning.  The brain is burning.  Morning fog burns off before first light.  The breath of God is puffed away, drifts in the direction of the desert.  Smoke hangs in the atmosphere, coats our throats black as we kneel in morning prayers.  And who hears them now?

The Father is dead.  He always had a deaf ear.  The child must learn to breathe again, breathe in smoke that covers the city like a cloud.

She fears for the wildlife—deer and coyote, rabbit and squirrel, bobcat, snake, and all the birds—where will they go now that their habitat is burned?  She asks, but their world is hidden from her.  She is deaf to both their pleas and their warnings.  She is powerless to help.

The Father is dead.  Father she never knew.  Father who forgot her.  Whom she forgot.  She has looked for him in the hands of the women she’s loved but never found him.  Finally she was told, “Father yourself.”

Finally she was told, “God yourself,” ending another fruitless search.

Nature is burning.  Its creatures run, hooves and paws over scorched terrain, panicked to escape the blaze.  Their fear enters her bloodstream.

The city is burning.  Night glows orange.  Whole hillsides alive with jewels of flame.  We all stumble out onto sidewalks to gape at the grisly spectacle that thrills with its terrible beauty.  Huddle together on pavement to bear witness to the beginning of something we can’t name.

The brain is burning too but no one comes to watch.  All circuits are busy.  Circuits are jammed, yet vast territories are uninhabitable.  The roads are closed.  Memories evacuated or lost.

Early evening fog settles into the Basin.  Softens the light.  Blurs the scarred hillsides, still smoldering memory of fire.

She took up residence in the blasted city.  City that had lost its nature.  She undertook a study of her own lost nature.

She mapped the inaccessible reaches of the brain.

She undertook a study of what it means to father.

She undertook a study of what it means to god.

She began to investigate the law of karma.

Karma is burning.  Father is dead and there are big shoes to fill.  All that has held us in form is being stripped away, incinerated in an uncontainable blaze.  We taste ash at the back of our throats.  Hear ringing in our deaf ears.  Huddle together like animals in the glowing aftermath.