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Embers by Elodie Barnes


These are the slow-burning embers

of grief; sparks of love that flare and flame

and die again, fading in the darkness

like fireflies in a jar.

I dream, still. Outside, a sun

is rising, not a parallel world but this world

untethered, unmoored from its orbit

and drifting. Dreams promise life

in the morning sky and the dripping

of evening through trees, the golden touch

of horizon on bare skin. I wake cold,

uncertain. With each fading pulse of light

I say here, hold my hand, it’s not far

to where we cannot see.

In the distance, birdsong,

falling. Slipping through my fingers

like sweet rain.

Elodie Barnes is a writer of short things. She isn't a fan of labels, and her writing often hovers in the spaces between fiction, poem, prose poem, and creative nonfiction. Despite this, her work appears regularly in online and print journals, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. She is Books Editor and Creative Writing Editor for Lucy Writers Platform, and was guest editor of their 2020 Life in Languages series exploring languages and translation. She is currently working on two creative nonfiction projects: a series of fragmentary 'essayettes' on the modernist writer Djuna Barnes, and a series of hybrid pieces on grief, nature and place. Find her online at


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