Here in the evergreen foothills of my life, body aches come not just from zooming into my students’ crammed cells. My brain too is wracked from deciphering their framed faces. Then came this week, all adamant about blowing up. Red rooves turned an orange so perfectly menacing, I wanted to cry. Pallid ashes fall down in slow motion, an impossible tango. The melting sun mocks the flames’ blazing autumn colors. Were the skies ever this eerie? At times, the grey silence of leaden smoke frightens me. Today, air support craft made noises that had never been recorded in my brain’s audio archives. I fade to blue thinking of other animals’ blameless plight. And when I remember we did this, my eyes become those tanker planes.