..And then the walls crumbled down to the floor,
but I saw no priest, not one savior on my door.
Dust filled the tiny lines of light; the little rays of air,
it covered every inch of my flesh and of my hair.
I swallowed the ruins and it all tasted naught,
like a ruthless stone, like a senseless thought.
Time slipped between my teeth in spits of blood
that covered the debris with despair and red mud.
I split into the holes inside my bones within a crack,
crouched like a skyscraper of gaps & a broken back.
Silence wheezed and rattled in my chest like a clock
as I struggled to swallow the ashes; to smile- & choke.
Contest Judging Comment:
A gritty poem like this stands out from the mush and gush so often drenching the pages of poetry. It is at once a song of extinction and yet of defiance. The dismissal of icons that normally give succor underscores the depravity of this destruction. To swallow the ruins is internalization of disaster, there is no escape, neither from the blasted concrete-dust outside nor from the recognition that nothing is left.
Riveting and painful! The implications of your images speak volumes your anguish mixes with the cloud of dust from destruction: "spits of blood / ... despair and red mud." You are comforted by no spiritual guide, lost to the wild terror.
You find nothing is left to salvage: "swallowed the ruins and it all tasted naught" as you are reduced to a tortuous existence: "split into the holes inside my bones within a crack... ."
Finally, you attempt to rise above the demolition but it is impossible, like hiding the sun with one finger: "I struggled to swallow the ashes; to smile- & choke."