A letter from a burning world

They pulled us off the line last night, kid.  Out of the fire. But the air is burning still, tastes of ash, smells like wet charcoal. It gets sucked into your skin, where it grinds into your pores. When does it end? When do we stop burning the world with hate and anger, disinterest and disappointment? When does your love bring reconciliation? When  do your eyes find peace? They say all this will grow back, the blackened land will heal, The scorched trees feed for rebirth. We’ve burned the earth before, ground it all to dust, smashed it with war, dirtied it,  poisoned it. Gloried over destruction,  reveled in the sodden pain; stolen the dreams of grandchildren. We could leave them a glowing cinder. I’ll sleep tonight and breathe the smoke. My dreams will be red, burning gold so hot my fingers will burn. I have the photo you sent me, buried under layers of fire gear to keep it safe. Your naked skin is tanned and your hair wrapped damp around your neck as we curled in the stream pool, the water so cold your skin burned and rippled, your mouth so fresh it brought life. That moment, that thing, is why I am here pushing back the fires that rage and destroy.
There is clear water somewhere here. By fistfuls I’ll splash my face, and rub away the layers of ash from my lips so all I taste is you.

About michaelstephendaigle

I have been writing most of my life. I am the author of the award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery series. "The Swamps of Jersey (2014); "A Game Called Dead" (2016) -- a Runner-Up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Author Contest; and "The Weight of Living" (2017) -- First Place winner for Mysteries in the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards Contest.
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