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dust and ash

we are but dust and ash

we are but souls breathed into a body

we are but divine breath, strained through a mask


we are but dust and ash

which in this moment means shards of sky

as the earth has inverted through flame, overhead

stole the place of the heavens

the dimension of time

cuz "sure as the sun rises"

has been revealed a lie


we are but dust and ash

it says

but then why does it so hurt to breathe

if from this we have come, and to this we return

then why when they scratch down our throats does it burn


how can it hurt to imbibe our own essence

why isn't it cause for celebration when *our dust's* effervescent

when our ash covers miles

when our earth conquers sky

if we are but dust and ashes - then why?


.


as the sun rises red, or worse, doesn't rise at all

and covers asphalt to hilltop in that gold-orange pall

we must remember the promise Hashem chose to speak

to the ark after flood, to Noah and beast:


that summer and winter, day and night shall not cease

but as *we* cough up our waste-smoke, we've watched summer creep

into winter and yesterday, night never unleashed

it's hold on the day, how could Hashem keep

her promise, her word, when we've shown ourselves cheap

when we've renegged the bargain

that though we are but earth

around us a garden

would spring from the soil

and from it we'd toil

not carbon, not oil

but barley and grape

wheat stalk and root


that though you are *dust* you are ash

this world was created for you


that though your body is earth,

your lungs hold the sky.


that while you are clay wrapped in skin

there's a soul breathed within


and from that arose this holy obligation

to steward this treasure across generation

and through that transcend our shackles and station

and reach to the level of divine aspiration


but


our obsession with possession

and attraction to extraction

has focused all our passions

on dust-and-ash actions


that at end of them's led, to the sky turning earth


we've lost *such* sight of heaven, that now she's cover-ed


and as we build *Towers* of Babel and monuments of stone

to in vain try avoid what is already known

that oblivion awaits us, we've been repaid in kind

by a justice if not righteous then surely divine


the reason it hurts to breath in the air

is because dust and ash, are not all we should bear


our bodies are dust but our lungs carry air

we are of earth but there's god inside there


which means the power to create and the power to destroy

the power to reject Her, or put ourselves in her employ


meaning *she'll* rise the sun and with grace let it set

we just have to listen, and steward, her garden, and breath

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©2019 Binya Kóatz
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