Gray on Gray

All around is ash
Somewhere a top has blown off
I look at the sun but see only grayness
A fine dust covers everything
Covers me
With effort I go to you
My feet drag a powdery substance
I leave a trace of gray
There are no shadows in this indiscriminate day
We meet. You stir the ashes with a supple stick.
It is alive, it touches my skin.
I reward you with brief eye contact, an ember
A touch of oxygen
You keep poking purposely with your stick
Sometimes you hit a tender spot. Again, I look up
Maintain eye contact as long as I can
The effort exhausts me
Eyes downcast again, not stirring
The hour is over
I feel nothing.
Off kilter and turned off. Off.


My brain is active if my body isn’t. It moves it
Forces it to breathe in the ambient smells
To look around, to take in the surroundings
To touch the trees. A taste of bitterness.
Birds are chirping I notice.
Slowly the fog lifts
Shyly the sun shines
Things sparkle in the sun
I work hard to react
To take in the colours and translate them into beauty
Still no sweetness, no taste, but movement at least
I work myself methodically back to life
Ash cannot burn but can be stirred
A whisper of cold dust rises
And settles down again
Another day, nighttime has fallen.

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