Don’t be Afraid
We ran for cover. Our images on the wall moving
sure footed over the debris and smelling of
backyard barbeques at four in the afternoon.
You were beautifully obnoxious. Laughing
at my wild hair filled with dust your face turned
serpentine as you urged me to go back saying
“Don’t be afraid”
and knowing that fear was all I had. I held onto
your hands and noticed how lifelike they were.
We knelt facing each other buried in terror.
Faces passed us, chalked blue and staggering. There
was a bottle of water in the room we passed through.
You saw it bending clear pure waves of light along
the floor. Not seeing it, I wanted to know how
much. I dug into my pockets for security; reassured
by feeling the smooth surface of the magnifying
glass we found. Your lips were parched and
cracked and bleeding as you forced a smile. Your
pale tongue scratched the roof of your mouth.
“Enough for today. Enough.”
The sun shifting through the haze rising from the
ground powdered the landscape in a red hue. The cold,
heavy smell of lead and sulfur made me shiver.
The screams quieted. Soft echoes reached out to us.
Explosions, distant and receding, that scrambled blind
through the air. Your voice sank as your eyes closed
“Don’t be afraid.”