Scorch became a town beset by famine arranged in tumbled bouquets. Children learned to inhabit dead sunflowers, heads drooping in deference to eternity before learning any alphabet – sad army of no emperor, not marching. Seeds set to drop before spring’s yellowing crown, a lion’s mane of tectonic yawp before the shuttered A&P. Lights arcing toward blink and never making it.
Once, commerce wound the creaking clocks mechanical as a rusting tractor. Elements unwitting, brittling jute quarrelsome as ravens scrabbling on an unmarked grave.
One after another we set about our dying, a wingbeat percussion plosive hushed by a husk of away. Buried too deep to find. Stars claw themselves inside horizon, a monument to how the land is built on our dead, matter continuing to forgive itself in disintegration.
Once, a woman placed a square of embroidery wet with sadness into an apron pocket. The telegram said full stop dead. A husband to a wife when more children meant maybe one would survive.
Exposed as we all are now, we gnaw at the desert with splintered nubs trying to spell LOVE in hopes a plane might crest the hill though it’s been so long. Because a book once named it rescue, and one of us can still read aloud.