A reflexive pivot then
she caught the conflagration:
orange and black, orange and black.
Sand filled in around her feet
on the path out from the city,
meditating with her as she imagined
her daughters and their babies
screaming as they blistered, choked and died.
She couldn’t take another step and
the sand cooled into a glass quilt as
tears washed the soot from her face
then dried, and streamed again then dried.
Her heart, an ingot of lead
and brine, anchored her to a road
that would’ve led her away
from the wreckage of her kitchen—
its grain and oils, her garden and friends;
her whole life to that moment reduced to coals.
This grief of hers, treason
to a man who hid behind virgins.
Men are cowards.
Angels, no better.
Published, July 2015 in VoiceCatcher: A Journal of Women’s Voices and Visions