It is wrong of me to envy a dead woman.
And yet, when he speaks of her,
Reverent longing heavy in his timbre,
I envy her. Not her ashes,
But the fire in which she died –
Brilliant hues that burned her from the inside out.
His fingers, coated with soot, bear the same scorching.
And I long for the same consummation.
I know that her body failed her, but
What of her heart?
Do the filmy gray flakes that he scatters in the wind
still vibrate to his touch?
Do the ashes remember how they were loved?
Do they realize how they are mourned?
In my mind, I chase the feathered gray flakes
as they scatter Germany,
if only to inhale their smoldering and taste their back draft.
A few remain around him, land on his shoulders, his arms, tangle in his hair,
As if unwilling to let him go.
His face turns upward to the sun,
but it is a cold substitute
for the fire he once held.