…may a hand reaching for something to dip/into a cup of coffee come across the half-moon/floating like an abandoned biscuit in the sky.

DESERT ANGELUS

Wish this upon that wasted waif
reaching for a cob of corn on a cold
night among the lean-to shelters.

Pray for this as hard as you can
before the scorching desert claims
his little body back among debris

of sticks, stones and bones dimly lit
by fluttering fire from stoked ember,
frying the flies gleaned from holes

hiding them in the crannies of boxes
left by a howling army of thieves
absconding with the relief supply.

A border guard sips freshly brewed
coffee from his tin cup, cocks his
rifle at its ready-to-fire 45-degree,

sneers at the child’s shaking body
in the arms of a tremblingly bony
hand of its mother begging for tea

or a tad of coffee, a balm for a cold
night at the gobi, where a half-moon
floats like a half-eaten biscuit in the sky.

—Albert B. Casuga
08-22-11