From the recording Santa Fe
The Cities Are Already Burning
©1990 Michael R. J. Roth
The moon turns to ice over mountains of snow.
There's a halo of frost on the meadow.
The season's all I need to know,
and all the chamisa's gone yellow.
The metal-cold weather strikes steel in your eyes
till my skin feels the air getting drier,
and the city that our love ignites
is pink with the glow of desire.
Aspen trees are quivering,
tossing their hope to the wind.
All their leaves they give to spring,
knowing winter's setting in.
There's talk of the dying from the night two weeks past
and the danger of trends out of order,
and what should happen if it lasts
while no one stands fast at the border.
Something cruelly measures me
when changes like this one come on,
like matching names to photographs
of friends that have gone on.
No one can hear the stars screaming tonight.
The children are staked to their yearning.
Their faces have been bathed in light,
for the cities are already burning.