by Liz

Shadows and dust blew through the cracks in the house,
A red and yellow and grey haze sifting over the people inside.
It refused to settle, but hung in the air.
We breathed it.
We ate it.
It was in everything, like God.
It stung and we bled from our noses, our mouths.
We could not escape the storm.
Gummed tape, wet rags, paper shades:
It was too late: building a levy after the floodwaters were at our necks,
But there was no rush, no water, no respite.
Only powder and heat, and hatefulness.
Someone grabbed a knife from the block counter
I think it was my brother
And he stabbed viciously at the air, screaming
“I hate you! I hate you! Get out of my house!”
The dust barely parted around the blade
He dropped the knife aside
It clattered on the floor and he hung his head.
You cannot kill the dust.
It was part of us now, like God.
There was no atheism for the dust, for it covers everything
And flies faster than cloud or bird.
It eats everything it comes to, consumes, strips the flesh.
We are its sacrifices.

– February, 2012