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The Burn

By Carl Sander

Saturday Night
The Burn
A circle of twenty-five thousand people beneath a full moon
Fire cannons roaming the playa
The Man with his arms extended now
No longer passive, he implores us, "Rise Up!"
Three hundred fire dancers in the inner circle
Spinning pots of fire
Leather and stocking-clad fire dancers
Spinning sticks of fire
"Burn Him! Burn the Motherfucker!"
Four fire cannons at once blast out fireballs the size of a Buick
We are aware of the heat
A red rocket high, higher, higher into the sky
A red flare
Softly falling red light on thousands of upturned faces
"Burn Him!"
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Red, white and blue munitions explode over his welcoming arms
And he burns
A hundred foot pillar of flame
Green lasers drawing on the smoke
The roar
Fists in the air
He burns
And from the leeward side of the fire, dust devils start to spin
One, two, three at a time
Whirling winds 3 to 10 foot in diameter and 100 feet tall
Fire lit and alive
Dancing on the playa
Dancing with the master
Flying from the vortex in a ten minute procession
One after another they chase down the moon
We explode
We dance
We drum
And he burns
One arm falls
We roar
The other falls
And he collapses into a pyre
Drawing all of us into his embrace

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