The windowpanes became blackened,
edges of the frame, crystallized sea glass.
I couldn’t stop looking
at the filthy angles, but I couldn’t stop seeing
the way her arms collided,
akimbo as she fell, I couldn’t help her
from drowning in all the soot, I wasn’t me
my hands already graying.
“It was gray all around us” Holly chants beside me,
then we weren’t talking anymore.
There were so many flakes of ashes falling
from the clouds that day,
the air thick with burning oaks and cedars
along the Florida-Georgia line, bonfire havens.
The wind carries it to me, and Holly
is drowning, soot clogging black eyes and ears and
then I’m not trying anymore.
There is salted rain, but no resolution
I couldn’t find rags to wash her ragged