My grandfather burned fires when we were kids
down by the lake in a structure he made
from stacked stones, the ash
so soft and powdery, almost white.
There were burnt shards of birch
cracked and black as pieces
of a sarcophagus. You can’t witness your own death,
I remember someone saying in a seminar
while we were discussing a Celan poem
in which the speaker is digging
through the ash. It was a Thursday,
I drank a bottle of mineral water with Ronald,
sun on Holbeinstraße, sun on Morgensternstraße.