Gangs of clouds mass on the horizon, muttering
an orange glare, feasting on chaos, fattening on conflagration.
Pink women, perfume marching, a million flowers chanting:
My body, my rights! A year later, revolution stoked by conflagration.
Blackened hopscotch, crumpled lockbox, shard of china, corkscrewed
fender, ashen spoon—remnants of distant conflagration.
Arctic icecaps shrink, oceans swell, asphalt melts as midnight senators
sell drilling rights, praise fracking and deny the conflagration.
Rip out your lawn, unwash your car, solar your roof
and convince yourself you’re curbing the conflagration.
Bloody sunrise, ash turns noon to night, iPhone air raid—EMERGENCY!
Grab your pooch, your purse, your pussy, escape the conflagration!
Your hoarded receipts, stacks of magazines, bags of buttons,
dog-eared books, ribboned love letters, all forgotten in the conflagration.
And the Devil laughs, flames licking from his febrile mouth—the gates
of hell are open. Welcome, dear one. Welcome to the conflagration.
A show of solidarity around the world marks 2018 Women’s March [Fox News]
Together Has Always Meant Yes [Poets Reading the News]
Elya Braden took a long detour from her creative endeavors to pursue an eighteen-year career as a corporate lawyer and entrepreneur. She is now a writer and collage artist living in Los Angeles where she leads workshops for writers. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Algebra of Owls, Forge, The Main Street Rag, poemmemoirstory, Serving House Journal, The Chiron Review, Willow Review and elsewhere.
Editorial art by Elle Aviv Newton.