Ashes

Angele Ellis

Angele Ellis

I couldn’t wait to shake you awake, although I’d been warned to see which way the wind blew first.  I thought of you on the beach, running through sand, running like sand in a timeless hourglass.  I thought of you stripping off your shirt to get sun on your chest—smooth and white as a cigarette stubbed out in a silver hotel urn.  Extinguished so that Fred Astaire, elegant as a ghost, could rise to dance with Ginger Rogers cheek-to-cheek.  I thought of you rising, shedding flecks before the heat started to burn—through celluloid film, through long waltzing bones.

I could keep you like this or make you disappear, like any ordinary lover. Wading barefoot into our lake, I felt your tongue between my toes like mud and minnow bites.  I was soaked to the waist, jeans anchoring me like stovepipes, a teasing wind on my neck, like breathing.

The cardboard brick resisted my shaking hands.  Then the lid wrenched free with a splash.  I looked down into a black hole flecked with stars.  Matter is transformed, not destroyed.  I stirred silk and soot and chipped molecules with my fingers.  You were an exotic spice, the lining of a terrarium, a soil sample from Mars.

Not dead, just falling like snow in the dark.  Your gray box, a Cubist boat, took the longest to sink.

 

3 Comments

  1. “Matter is transformed, not destroyed,” is such a wonderful way to think of things. The images in this piece are beautiful.

  2. I love this, Angele.

  3. Really beautiful writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *