Ash Cardona

I’ve been instructed to go after my life with an axe—

to determine what can be hacked out. Feel the heft


of it, raise it high, take aim, and swing. The brute force

of the action is appealing, I must say: the wildness


and desperation of the act, the ceremonious lifting up

of the instrument, the unceremonious thwack of impact.


But this axe is imprecise and clumsy. I tend more 

toward the scalpel, or a small knife for whittling, 


careful strokes create space, too, just not as much, 

and not as fast, but now is not time for careful. 


An automatic rifle is efficient, but I don’t trust the periscope,

or the precarious finger on the trigger. The inevitable spray


of bullets could be too wide and might miss the target.

Besides, I fear the kickback would throw off the whole operation


and I haven’t the time to train. What I need, maybe,

is a hand grenade, or better yet—a cannon.


I’ll blow the whole thing wide open,

burn it all to the ground and salvage the ashes.


Sometimes there is wisdom in destruction,

and sometimes just debris.

Ash Cardona’s poems can be found or are forthcoming in Poetry City USA, Dressing Room Poetry Journal, Lumina Journal, Punt Volat, and The Dollhouse. She holds an MFA from Augsburg University and lives with her husband, daughter, and two dogs in Minneapolis, Minnesota.