The Parable of Alexandria (Apocryphal)
We weren’t sure of anything, anymore. The flames were daylight. The smell of smoke as the olahs of our thoughts caught in the dry air and suttee rushed upward into the sky, the dark sky, so black and so moving in shaded patches and wisps that spiraled and spread until our eyes could take in no more and they burned, as well. The water falling in twin rivers, clearing the ash and the dust, our scorched hands holding what they could on the way out.
Never enough. We knew that much.
There were so few hands and so many flames stealing through the stacks and the smoke thick as death daring us to try again. Just one more load. Another circuit. You could at least try—
There were those who did and were never seen again like so many leaves and saddles’ scorched edges, leather codices cooling in hands’ blackened flesh. The tears ran and the desert wind blew dust through our hearts like the olahs that rose to the gods and their pleasure. Unsure and augured flights of ash we could never tell, the story falling through time is the dirty, forgotten salt of our chins.
Through the desert we walked. Blinded. Parched. Our souls fell in piles of words that caught in the wind with the sand and the dust of what was and wasn’t and never could be again—
Now, in the wind, still circling the sky, vultures patient and silent as the penitent walk on all fours, begging for death or water, whichever comes first…