Mount Vesuvius

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I recall a dream
of emptying myself of molten rage and ashen fury,
blighting the verdant fields of wild grass and lilac
who grew brightly down my side,
nourished by the sweet lemon air floating from the crystalline Mediterranean sea.
I remember how it poured along my flanks,
dribbling down like drool from the mouth of a demented dog,
reeking like the Furies fresh from Hades and laughing sadistic plumes of flame
as it traveled slowly, confidently,
burning troughs that would later bear water and flowers,
but always stand likes scars, monuments to my temper,
black and carbonized under the gentle spring-time sun
whose honeyed glow purges the bitterness of iron and dust from my tongue.
I still taste the magma, foul and thick,
as it stays stuck between my teeth, the taste fading everyday
My stomach growls and spits from my pores
those same hunks of pungent pumice and pallid steam
who once laid my corner of the world to nothing more than waste
and ash.

Bodies choked and filled and preserved in smoke,
people cloaked in scalding ash,
burned and bleeding and silent
with incensed dust blowing about their bones and roasting their brains,
their bodies warped and crooked as olive trees, painted with red and orange tongues.
Still I cough as the last of their screams reverberate,
in dying intensity,
through my inner chambers
and are drowned in the stilling silence
accumulated over ages of piercing the clouds with a choleric mouth
that will never again open as wide or discharge as violently,
but remains threateningly aimed cannon-like at the sun himself
and the stars and the moon.
I dream along with the murmuring alien drone of cicada
as they whisk away spirits and bad dreams with their otherworldly chant.





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