the world bled of color

Ashfall
Conchitina Cruz

Before it was given a name, it was rain without drops, without sound, it was rain in slow motion,
regretting the many times it slapped against the ground, regretting its relentlessness. It was rain
resisting its temper, attempting tenderness. It was rain that wasn’t rain at all, it was snow, snow
without the cold, without the sting in the air, the ache, the chill, snow out of place, out of date,
out of season. It was a tropical dream, new breath, a break in reason, a pause between sun and
rain and sun again and rain. It was treasure from the sky, a secret we found out first, a prize for
being good girls. It was reason enough to refuse to sleep, reason enough to get up at three in the
morning, reason enough to step out to the pavement and hold up our arms to what was snow but
not snow, rain but not rain, the world around us turning pale, the world bled of color.

In a minute, somebody will wake up, somebody will be frightened by the open door, will stumble
to find us, will tell us to get in, will ask why what is falling from the sky is falling. We will hear the
word volcano, we will learn the name to fear. But right now, when there are no labels yet, we lift
our faces in thanks, our faces turning pale, what has yet to be named resting lightly on our lashes.

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