Envisioning the future

You tell me this world is wreckage, that every

morning you wake with a pinched chest, sour pucker pressed

to unspeakable ruin. If it all ended now, that might

be better for all of us, you imagine, with your eyes

of exhausted hope, hands that jerk and slice

where once they floated, soft.

 

Believe me, I understand how faith can grow

ragged, slip and shatter when every day

you scrounge, sift through ashes

for a scent that will lead you

back home.

 

I know we are stitched with the slain, our ears

a broken chorus of bullets, bombs, welter

of savaging cries.

 

But there is a babe

in the crook of my arm.

She is milk and lavender, gurgle

of stars, and every time she sighs

her smallness deeper into my skin,

I inhale

the word beautiful,

possible,

light.

She curls her finger around some thread

of me, tunnels her gaze into the orchard

of my body, my held

breath, my red-mouthed

fear, gives me back

the world.

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