Today's poem is by Keith Montesano

Long After the Flames

Today, in broad daylight, I crawled through the window
of a house gutted by fire: planked windows
and front door, porch still intact, charred shreds of ash
from an oak kitchen table, melted black oven handle.
I was going to pass without stopping to look,
but was too drawn to the lack of enclosure,
the recklessness of possiblity. Each room steeped
in thin layers of gray flakes—metal refusing
to give in like wood, paper, photographs.
It doesn't matter, at this point, if it was arson
or accident, death or escape, only that it stays
exactly like this: passed, disregarded—
flecks of green paint still fresh—memories
gone like the family now in another state.
It would do me no good to track them down.
Now weeds assault cracked slabs of basement floor,
already burying even that idea of home.

Copyright © 2006 Keith Montesano All rights reserved
from Pebble Lake Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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