The Bone Collector

Sometimes my breath catches in my throat
and the very stillness of an earth going
a thousand and three miles per hour
gets lodged there.

Sometimes these simple exchanges
leave me breathless, croaking on dust:
the unfiltered pigments of other people’s skin
and blood and ash

but with my tarred lungs and itchy eyes
I sit and sift through charcoaled remains,
alphabetising them from c to c. I am lost
in a world charred brazen.

Many things I have loved have turned to ash.
Many people. I was naive enough to think
that there was some perfect nutritional truth
that could outlast hell-fire.

I claw through a world turned ashen
and know those dead embers collect in my cells
They are the harbingers of a truth
I do not want.

The skittish earth throws its skirts about again
to unsettle us all, and I am unsettled
Alone in the dirt, organising piles of bone-dust
and realising

he did not love, at all.

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