After the Fire

Clara Castelar


We've lain in this bed of ashes for thousands of lifetimes,
Crushed by the weight of our fear.
No ladder fell from the sky bearing
Archangels willing to be pummeled.
We didn't have the heart to pinion the cherubim
Who dared to check our attendance at autos-da-fe.
We slept beneath the rock of our regrets,
learning to dream.

Our wishes are simple now,
We want to be granted the gift of welcome,
The benison of forgiveness,
The blessing of rest after our struggle.

How shall we reclaim what was ours before the fire?
All we have left is the tiredness of centuries
Spent holding keys for doors that won't open for us.
We are weary of waiting for a bridge to cross this vacuum
An absence of mercy created around us.
How long shall we atone?
Must we make our way to God inch by inch,
Hoisting ourselves, hand over bloody hand, on the rope of your doubts?