Seventeen years ago a roar engulfed the singing pines - countless breaths exhaling the needle sting of smoke. They stood in shredded funeral garb flinging glowing ember flowers onto us below. They witnessed our syncopated falling and the operatic scream of twisting steel, the cymbal crash of exploding windows. We knelt prostrate before the fire bowed and broken: an army in black surrender. Up on the hill, now between the sleek sheets of glistening modernity and long embedded gardens, I am still here. The run-away grass (that feathered doom) tickles my concrete pad. The triad tongues of fire, water & tanin have left printed shadows and the jagged prod of steel beams into nothing is my toothy skyline. The house that was.