Controlled Burn
by Robert L. Dean, Jr.

______And God said
___ ___Shall these bones live?
____________—T. S. Eliot, Ash Wednesday

snot rivers down my lip
cinders singe my eyes
air toxic with
hellfire, brimstone
Flint Hills ranchers
striking matches
tall-grass Zeuses
with scorched earth policies
not even a zephyr
whispers against them
up the narrow low places
creep their progeny
Stygian fingerprints staining
lilies of the field
down the street
the neighbors’ houses
Bataclan Theatre
Maalbeek Metro
Splendid Hotel
all smudged out
as far away as
Chicago, Fayetteville
rogue sparks ignite
bullet-hole a boy’s body
sucker-punch a protester
and what of these, my
fistfuls of embers
hot words you and I didn’t speak last night
cold naked back to cold naked back
how many tears
to drown a world

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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