strange constellations

by Natasha Burge

the empty crater smells like fireworks:
a city block swept away
obliterated between
and the outbreath that never came

i saw the pictures:
limbs tangled on asphalt
like strange constellations

i wonder:
will I someday wake with colorless eyes
my smile a split femur
my bone chips star-scattered on dark sand

hear my empty breath
choking full with their names:
gunblast men in black Kevlar
and the children who watch
eyes shot through with grief

i stand on the cracked lip
and I wonder:
when they wrap death against their ribs
do they remember a time before,
a time when their future was written differently
in the crisp spill of stars overhead

i sleep and i dream:
the stars are falling to earth
snow drifts of gaseous clouds
and constellations of names
cover my body
i’m drowning to wake up

Natasha Burge divides her time between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, where she and her husband are owned by an unruly herd of rescue animals. Her writing can be found or is forthcoming in Jersey Devil Press, Crack the Spine, Luna Station Quarterly, Bitterzoet, and Ink in Thirds, among others. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in creative writing and trying to wrestle her first novel into shape.

Photo by: Ana Prundaru