The Song He Always Sang

It’s starting to get cool at night, the first of September.

               The stars look so magnificent now all cities are dark.

               Such lights and clouds and clusters of white in the black.

               The ashes of the fire rise on the flames to touch the sky.


               She lays in her sleeping bag, Army Surplus, once her dad’s.

               The flames are hot on her face, and soothing, and so kind.

               She does not want to go into the tent yet, wants to be here.

               Watching the flames, feeling the heat, as winter comes down.


               She tries to call that song he always sang for her as a little girl.

               Tries to call the sound of his voice, the scratch of beard on her cheek.

               The nauseating smell of his aftershave. The color of his eyes, exactly.

               The feel of his arms hugging her. The roughness of his hands.


               All shadows, half formed, flickers in the darkness of her memory.

               All the pictures burned when the city fell. Memory is fickle and fades.

               She can’t put together the summer afternoon that was perfect,

               When it was just her and her dad, picnicking on the open plains.


               She sighs, and gives up trying. She gets out of the sleeping bag

               And goes inside the tent, gets back in, and through the open

               Mesh of the tent roof, she looks at the stars, countless, infinite,

               Until she levitates into the sky, and is one with every miracle.


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