THE DISTANCE BETWEEN FIRE AND STONE | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 05, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 05, 2019

Poetry

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN FIRE AND STONE

I've never told the truth  

about anything: not that  

I've often found the defiance

of forest fires more stunning 

than the pre-planned blooms

of fireworks, not the night I caught 

my friend cutting her mom's pills

in half in the dark. I've tried  

to accept that the lesson learned  

from a plane barreling into a pentagon  

is that fire will always only ever  

come close to ravishing stone,  

but the truth is, I still don't entirely 

understand the expanse between  

stacks of planks of acres of trees 

and the stacks of paper they become,  

small bits of which Fermi let drift 

from his fingers during the detonation  

of the first atomic bomb. The truth is, 

across each narrow road two oceans   

from here, men speak to each other 

most honestly with their car horns.  

Tarfia Faizullah is a Bangladeshi-American poet. The chosen poem is from her collection Registers of Illuminated Villages published in March 2018.

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