A Gasp of Moon

I watched the house burn – the smell of their entire lives staining my shirt and soaking my lashes.

Ashes of baby blankets and prom pictures and phone bills and carefully hidden Christmas gifts heaped upon my head.

She asked me to carry her dogs to safety. In my hands, a beating rib cage, whimpering. All at once, the back of the house collapsed and she folded like a paper swan into creeping violets.

I don't know her and I can't forget her.

How love can be like that, just a gasp of moonlight in an always expanding night – a hint of eternity projected onward in a perfectly ineffable package. Unknowable and unforgettable. Consuming and devastating.

Every careful moment put into place can go up in flames – fuel of impermanence, lasting lifetimes.

Her collection returned to the earth. Your letters, creased in the code of ancients, buried in me.

Common or divine – we decide. Fire, loss, a breathy moon before the cardinal wakes.

Connect or not. The thermometer of my soul is always rising.

This epistolic narration with no reader. No writer.

Yet I am here.

A quick hitch in the quickening approach of night.