History of the Planet
Megan Roth

Did you hear of the man who ran into the apartment in a yellow coat and black boots? He saved the flames from a boy and a cat, from a chest of photographs, carried the flames out in his wide arms, his barrel chest -- bundles of dancing orange. He was filmed saying anyone in my position, saying right thing and right time, saying you don't think, you just act.
Flames danced and were saved from things they destroyed, never looking back at black char, at gray ash, never at the blackened beads, doll buttons, ashen photos, charred.
The eyes of dolls were heard saying at last, at least, because, watching flames dance off in saving arms, and dancing flames never saw black ash and char chill and settle and sift. The man in the yellow coat and black boots was worshiped, quoted, carved in stone.
Black ash and gray char chilled. The world counted. Dolls became flames, eyes became flames, flames became the world counting, ash became of the act of seeing. The boy and cat and chest of photographs lingered in noses, hints of something burning.