for Sarah Ghazal Ali
Days unclear, filled with sun. The flicker of another
life coming for me. Rushing
makes an imprint—bruised knees. Time purpling
the rhododendron. Near summer,
when childhood’s shadow is near, you say you feel
God's hand. Where on your back, exactly?
In my earliest memory, my father is teaching me,
on the couch in a small apartment,
how to make the sign of the cross. Mama
observes, a birthmark the shape of Polska
on her forearm. Meant for a better story.
I wish for kinder eyes, to see less of everything.
Sometimes I go walking without my glasses.
Maybe next time I'll spin in the grass,
arms wide open. I hope I'm laughing when I fall.
I want to send that laughter to you.