Art by Michelle Lanter | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr
To Love A Volcano
I wonder if Vesuvius ever knew its own
capacity, because it buried an era in the
folds of its skin without thinking twice,
encasing lungs in ash and bodies in stone.
You make coffins from your words
as though your feet are wrapped in boulders
and your skin is still covered in the embers
that he scattered across you so long ago.
Sometimes it is enough to trust blindly,
when he saw the sky
turn to smoke, he told his people that they would
survive, and he died an innocent man, and they died
unafraid. You know too well what lies can do
when the truth is still to be found, he sleeps easy
at night believing you don’t remember that it
was his hands that burnt you, and not your own.
You forget that life isn’t always
easy, that sometimes, there is a choice, always a choice,
always a decision hard to make. When he felt you
tense against him, he knew that he would never
be able to find your consent in his sheets, he never
even thought twice when he flung it aside, and you
spend hours awake wondering if there is daylight now
elsewhere in the world, because you have forgotten.
In 79 AD, a volcano erupted and tore through
500 years of civilisation, ravaged its history
till it could not be rewritten without its downfall’s
name within it. He chained you to his ribcage
and left you balancing on the tips of his fingers,
so your throat was always choking on the fumes
falling from his mouth. You won’t forget his holocaust
on your skin, he won’t remember anything else.