Smoke

Now, we dig holes for our dead
— used to burn them on racks,
boats, pyres. We burned our dead.
We strapped them to poles and sang
until their wild eyes shut.

Until their wild eyes shut,
we sang. Until the bones
slipped from the chains, we sang.

We sang until the bonefires died,
until the last vipers bit
into cloud and spat rain.

Now — we dig holes for our dead,
heap them with stone. Nothing
rises any more like smoke,
and we, mumbling,
must simply wait for rain.

Image: Paul Wong on Unsplash

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