From Too Much Dwelling on What Has Been

How many pigeons, blackbirds,
phoebes took flight when the eaves
caught fire and fell, the night sky
glowing red? One of the mills

was burning. Heavy air smoked
over the river, strands of
shadow drawn across the stars.
Did the birds peer through rising

pillars of ash? Could they see
flickering lights of untouched homes
below? Would we hear their songs
like sighs against the din of

sirens, or only whispers
of flames, the cold air rushing
to reclaim its place? And how
many nights would pass before

they’d circle back, alighting
among the faded embers
as if they’d simply fallen
through rays of a setting sun?