Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down By Meg Boyles

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

I say the word charcoal, and it sounds like grief.
I say grief, and suddenly a piece of charcoal
appears in my hand, cold like marble and skinny
like the bones of a finger. As I hold it in my palm,
I think about destruction, of the metallic taste
of death, of this world and the end of it. I look
down at the charcoal balanced in my hand. I
remember that charcoal can be broken easily
like a promise made in autumn, so I make a fist
and squeeze. I open my hand, coated with black
and sprinkled with shards of charcoal. I repeat
the word charcoal, and it sounds like the night
my insides were painted the black color of pain.
You remember. Humans become ashes far too
quickly. I said, Tell me I am not in pieces, and I’ll
believe you. I’m sorry I said that. Sorry I said a
lot of things. But especially that. We are all
trying to repair something. I curse this leaking
heart of mine, more holes than muscle, but it
floods my words. Sometimes wreckage is
beautiful. This is not one of those times.

By Meg Boyles

Biography:

Meg Boyles was raised in Ridgeland, Mississippi and is a junior at Hendrix College, studying creative writing and literature. Her poems can most recently be found in The Aonian.

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