Orphan Prayer

She tells me her name is Beatrice

as she leans into me, lithe

with a hunger that smells

like sadness on my skin.

Her voice is sparrow-light, tuned

to the haste of retreat, the way a promise

smokes while smoldering into ash.

Still, she takes my face in her hands,

brushes the hair from my forehead,

spoons me into molasses eyes

and feathered breath — mirror

and plea, a trumpet bell

for everything


yet known.