By the time the fires reached the outskirts of the city
the rats had all fled the center
diving out of the streets
and into the rivers where they
in their best efforts to survive.
The people, on the other hand,
they understood water better,
knew that flame and wave were just as dangerous as each other
when engaged with recklessly
and so they funnelled themselves beneath each other's feet
thinking their neighbours were closer to sanctuary
that the elements.
They had forgotten
as people often do in times of panic
that people are a force of nature also.