ASH

Inspired by his resurgence from a tough period, Kieran Cottrell's poem articulates the transformative effects of love. Illustration by Leib Chigrin.

I had a heart like an upturned ashtray.

I spoke smoke. People held their breath.
When I found you, ash was all
I had to pile at your feet.

I did not know what you would do
with my dire, dirtying heart
crumbled there, burning.

Would you brush it off, blow it out,
heap it, beating, in your palm
offend the wind with it?

No, you found soil, seeded it.
You poured my heart in, stirred
what I had wasted. And we waited.

Now here’s a sapling. Soon, an ash tree.

'Ash' was published in our 16th issue, The Hope Issue, which is available to buy here.