The Seventh Largest City in Germany

by Nat Norland

It is midday, and finally
The fire has stopped falling.
I expect it looks pretty
From 60 miles away.
Here, it looks like anything
But a city.

When the burning gave way
To ash pastures and gutted houses
We went looking for leftovers.
We found them in cellars
Packed tight
Carbon charred
But still recognisable.

Some of us burned.
Some of us drowned.
Some of us fell,
Onto hot stinging roads
Air stolen by flames.
Some of us were left
To sift through the remains.

We found so many
That it took weeks
To turn them all
To ash.