Sought, scoured for, summoned: they turn up
rough-tongued, stinking, a tang of burned metal
about their coats, their boots; hairlines of ash
and fingers scorched and scarred, their spittle
sour, unloved. But clever with charcoal,
pit-depth, lie of the wind, provisioning
from broken forests, shattering the sleep
of deep veins, the unmapped raw of earth.
Look away now: the brilliant blistering light,
that cataract of blazing air, the stream
of liquid pain, the mould aghast and dumb
until the voice, the telling voice, the change.