Sunday, 28 December 2008 - 10:34 am


I don’t know what to say.  I don’t know how to tell this part.


They burnt the sky.  That’s what it looks like.  Not just over the city, but in every direction.  It’s a thick orange colour, burnt umber turned inside out.  It’s not the smoke; that’s a black smear against it.

Who could possibly burn the sky like that?  How?  How far does it reach?  And why?  Why would anyone do this?

Looking up at it makes me dizzy.  But it’s so hard to look away.


All of us gathered outside in the street to look at it.  Once the calls had finished, no-one said anything.  When I glanced away from the awfulness of it, I realised how much we all looked the same.  We had all been smeared by the same big, ashen hand from head to toe.  We were eyes and teeth and fallen-open mouths in scorched ghosts.

Gazing towards the city, I can’t believe we were there.  It’s all alight now; the firefighters have lost and fled, and the bones belong to the flames.  I can’t believe we came out of there alive.  Some of the structures are still standing, empty-eyed, like broken teeth.  They gulp smoke at the sky, inverted vomiting, and I can taste it at the back of my throat.


I hadn’t realised until now how much I was looking forward to seeing the sky again.  After all that smoke and dust, I was looking forward to the cleanness of it.

Now I can’t remember what blue is supposed to look like.