Saturday, September 16, 2017


orange ash sky

we eat
german currywurst
under the orange ash sky in seattle
as the woman who served us
says her family home in utah
may burn to the ground
forty-five years her parents have been there
to maybe go up like a pack of matchsticks
we nod in sympathy
ingest currywurst and soot
as the pacific northwest burns
in fiery splendor
as the desert rages in brushfires and heat
as california suffocates
as hurricane flood waters drown
texas and florida
we look up into the orange ash haze
at the blood red sun almost hidden
at mountain ranges lost in the smog
at people taking pictures of this madness
we eat the food with storm surges
licking the tip of our tongues
twenty dead here
another thirty-five gone over there
while young asian girls in baby-doll dresses
walk by us wearing surgical masks
like a pack of tarted-up doctors
off to stand in line outside of starbucks
for rainbow sherbet frappuccinos
sucked down cold during these end times
we clean curry ketchup
off of our fingers
daydream berlin
eat a last salty and greasy fry
drink that precious bottled water
breathe in the smoke and grime into our tar-covered lungs
as the woman from utah tells someone else
to bear with her
bear with me, she says
looking up at the orange ash sky
because i just haven’t been right, honey
not right at all

--John Grochalski

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