After the fire

To Emil

we strip off our clothes,
race upstairs to the shower.

I emphatically declaim,
"Fuck, I love hot water!"
All you can do is laugh.

Smoke is a constant that stays.
After the fire,
our bodies are cleansed;

your head rests on my chest
in this room, much too cold,
and then I think back

to the other fire,
and the other one,
when for six hours

we stood in the rain
and drank beers, and roasted
smokies and s'mores

and stirred the grey ash,
and prayed for flame to return,
which then did return

when, at the very end
of the sodden exercise,
covered in soil and sweat,

I suddenly felt free.