the ashes of 2015

half of the ashes of 2015 sit atop my mantle as a reminder of when i could have died.

some sit atop my tombstone, still unengraved as a similar sentiment.

the rest i scatter every time i leave the house,

dripping out of my shoes when i step outside of my self-esteem

like sand falling from a clock as i turn pirouettes inside the sun.


the ashes shrivel more and blow away in the wind

with my fallen eyelashes, and dandelions as i make wishes for future children

i finally discovered a desire for.


the ashes of 2015 could have killed me--

could have solidified my lungs like the victims of Pompeii,

could have set my synapses on fire and sent me hurtling into chaotic numbness

as i destroyed my nerve endings with the marriage

of lighter fluid and matches.


instead, the ashes of 2015 decorate my fireplace

and my footsteps. even as they are wiped away by wind,

they are scattered as reminder to the world:


I survived.

the ashes of 2015 was displayed in the Poetry Leaves Exhibition in Waterford, MI, and appears in the Poetry Leaves 2017 anthology.
© 2017 by Marisa Adame