by Marianna Beltrami
I saw three shooting stars.
We went up the mountain. We watched the sunset, grilled some veggies, opened four beers, sat down. Breathing in the fresh air.
Indigo, heavenly sky. And then one star. And then three, four, five.
It all felt like what it was supposed to feel like: the mountains, the stars, the stillness, three shooting stars, the wishes.
But in the meantime – my house is burning. Wildfires, set by human hands, right in the place where I once found my purpose.
I see it with my very eyes. The news had warned us. But how can it actually happen? Impossible. It can’t come here. We are fine. It’s remote.
Yellow, hellish sky. And then one bang. And then three, four, five.
“Stay in, please”
“Can I come and help? Can I do something?”
“I’ll be back”
(they never were)
Ten hours. Burning air. It is not just the air to be unbreathable. The hours are unbreathable. So is the house. So is the loneliness, the prison-ness, the powerlessness. The violence of the fire, of the wind, of the sand stinging the eyes. Losing them is unbreathable.
Unbreathable. No air. No life. Evacuation.
Can I be calm now? Do I have any right to be? Can I make these three wishes on a fresh Alpine field, while the soles of my shoes are still melting from the burning Mediterranean soil?
Is my purpose burning, too?