Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Art as Ash

It’s a bit less than what’s left—
Ghost of a life, but no bones.

You can probe it with a stick,
Spread it, toss it, paint with it.

You can sit and stare at it.
You can think on it. Think hard

Or think quick. It can’t move now,
Not on its own. It needs you

To mean a thing, just to mean.
You pour your life back in it.

You stir. It stirs. It stirs you.
No, don’t dump it in a lake,

Or lock it up in a cell
With bits of books, tools, and flakes.

It’s best to let it grow dust
On a shelf. Still, look at it.

Take it down once in a while.
Tell your kids—You see this urn?

Know what’s in it? All that’s left.
Sure, peek. No. Don’t you dare sneeze.

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