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
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,
the word beautiful,
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