[38] Cast In Herculaneum, William Huhn

Mountaintop blossoms
blacks out heavens
a sun the gods captured
   breaks through crust
pounding free
springs burst skyward
Barely time
   to scoop up
a handful of

   Dusk fills
the quaking shallow
cave you’ve fled to
You can’t see yet
your gems and gold
   will dash It’s
a lesson poorly learned
before a hot snap of
and smokefall hail
taps fears untested
till now in the light
   of heart

Outside the vision
of pretty spider-leg
   flows in the night
fills eyes hollow
Skin your knees praying
the authors of birdsong
   may believe your
promise to live
   for others but
there’s no time
or anyone to give to

The heaviest cloud
snow dust and ash off
shores and on distant
   plains of Africa
whose heatscapes would
   have felt Arctic
to you in your cave

stones lie
near sandaled
your hold lost
   breath taken
a rough mold
   catches you
crying a prayer
gods alone heard
Have them count
   as somebody

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