Vesuvius - Lucky Christiansen

Agonizing to keep
wading through the grey drifts
my legs screaming to sprint

as streets we’ve known forever
collapse, disappear
under the clouded weight
of the mountain’s guilt.

I clutch your hand
tight as tectonics,
frantically reading the carved names
graffiting the crumpling bakery walls.
My eyes scramble to archive the scripture
disappearing beneath Pompeii’s timber bones
as our death march slogs forward.

Even as exhaustion scrabbles at my feet,
                I would not leave you.
Even as that darling light slips from your eyes,
                I will not leave you.
Even as my lungs fill with newly made clay,
the silt choking me more than my tears,
                I cannot leave you.

my erroneous heart
I haul your body onwards
through the streets we’ve loved forever–

a perverse funeral procession
for the both of us.

Embracing what’s left of you
                                       as my feet drag
                                                      and the grey
                                                                     ash piles

[ highlighted text reads “keep clouded your eyes, my darling. you cannot save us, my dear” ]

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