while walking among the reeds
you see a part of your life on the opposite
side of a river. you don’t know when it found
its way outside of you. like when one
of the many smaller nesting lives inside vanishes
& you know you’ll never find it again, but are at ease
with the fact. you say to yourself that was then.
you don’t think about crossing the river. you know
the current is strong enough to pummel you.
the past is like that. instead, for a moment, you look
for the people there & they can’t see or hear
you of course, but you can see the fireflies
dancing. you can hear the song the people
are singing. & it’s only until the near end of the song
that you notice you were mouthing every word.
i could have been a child still waiting
for my parents to return.
a child who knows the embrace
of their parents best when wrapping
their small tongue around
their names. who has a photograph
they can point to & say
there, there is my mami. whose guilt
masks itself as hunger
for all the bodies that were swung
into the clouds. who says once, i gave
the night all of my tears & I have not seen
my mother since. who never learns
to stop looking up into an echoless
sky expecting an answer.