you told me
we were a volcano
you were the ground
the lush earth
teeming with flora and fauna
that was crushed
by me
the lava
coming from beneath ground
dormant for just long enough
but oh i erupted
a soot-filled, burning creature
not us
we were a forest fire
and funny enough
i was the forest
filled with life
i was the soil
deep and rich
and you used my life
my growth
to ignite
you were the fire
listening to no one
caring for nothing
crawling through my body
tearing up my roots
searing the trunks of trees
decimating flowers and grasses
condensing the breath of the land into ash
i never needed the fire
but wildfire brings birth
it brings new life onto this earth
and i will let the seeds grow
rising from the ash
this land is flowering
this ground is breathing
this forest is resilient
and no fire will ever stop it from thriving

i never wanted you to fix me, i just trusted that you’d care

—By Keahi S., 18, Oakland, California