I saw so many flocks of naked souls,
all weeping miserably, and it seemed
that they were ruled by different decrees.
Some lay upon the ground, flat on their backs;
some huddled in a crouch, and there they sat;
and others moved about incessantly.
The largest group was those who walked about,
the smallest, those supine in punishment;
but these had looser tongues to tell their torment.
Above that plain of sand, distended flakes
of fire showered down; their fall was slow-
as snow descends on alps when no wind blows.
Just like the flames that Alexander saw
in India’s hot zones, when fires fell,
intact and to the ground, on his battalions,
for which-wisely-he had his soldiers tramp
the soil to see that every fire was spent
before new flames were added to the old;
so did the never-ending heat descend;
with this, the sand was kindled just as tinder
on meeting flint will flame-doubling the pain.