Anna Young: I am a summa cum laude graduate of the creative writing program at Washington State University. Most recently, I had a piece of flash fiction published in Crack the Spine’s “The Year” anthology. I have also received both the Jennie Brown Rawlins Scholarship in Creative Writing (2019, 2020) and the Ruth B. Slonim Poetry Award (2018).
Ashes to Ashes
Never once did we rolling stones
stay in the sun long enough
to dry, and never did we
soak up the shade, the cool
damp mist, to sprout the tendrils
of life (or some pseudo-existence
Something of a dream this feels, feet
clasping a jagged rock at the toes,
lichen likened to sandpaper or
tread that holds us in place.
Wind rushing across the sepia grass
below, bending stalks with a rush of
air like exhilaration in the heart,
darkness glooming up the hillside
with great deep thunderheads like
smiles heavy with loss. Cuban cigar
smoke swirling and thrashing around
our heads. “Gonna rain,” someone or
some body mumbles, tremor, thumping,
snare-rattle and bass timpani roll.
The smile cracks.
Slashes of ice and rain batter
the crags splitting the soft-sided
flanks of earth, slap to the face, the
humble ash of the cigar flutters away
and burns out. Crumbles of
dust to join the other crumbles
marring the grass of the hillside.