First Fall of Ashes

by Joshua Siegal

First fall of ashes
Rained and turned the grasses brown
Dusted my fingers with pulverized time.

I sat out through it, and slowed my breath to the stench of our broken censer,
Smashed by that man we made, Atlas with his singed skin.

Too dry, this deluge, too choking white.
A molten river flow might wake things up, might somehow steam.
But those chambers are fused, and only bone slakes the land.

I thought those first flakes a miracle, wondered at the sky.

Someone’s roof or dog or bed
Hit me in the corner of the eye.