Volcano ash

We all have a volcano
with our name written on it
but are quick to panic,
to look away and shut our ears
every time it makes the softest of rumbles,
and refuse to utter
its unpronounceable name.

But the volcano bubbles
behind our turned backs,
under the ancient deception
of glacier-like
and one morning as we absent-mindedly
rinse our coffee cup
or soundlessly open our eyes at three in the morning
or think of love
in the middle of the afternoon,
it calls us
to lie down on its burning pyre
with our backs to it,
and sends our ashes upward
where they disintegrate in the wind
darkening the skies
and mocking travellers’ schedules
planned to the last missable detail.

In the transit lounge of Heathrow airport
a lady with six Louis Vuitton suitcases
looks up at the uncertain heavens
and pales visibly under her make-up.


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