And all day today the voices on the radio
have been speaking of love: the child
remembering the grandfather who perished
along with so many others ten years ago—
I think: so young, so young, and already
the ancient catch in his voice, sound torn
between the crumple of gauze and the soft
blows of rain on the earth. Bent steel,
molten ash, heat of serrated wings glimpsed
across the prostrate city. What moments
are tamped into the grain of fingertips?
Plumes of smoke, a flotilla of bodies
still strapped to their seats in Yaroslavl.
Whose names flicker on the list of the
disappeared? Come then and touch: not
the hems of idols, but even the dull curtains
blown by the wind: shriveling scroll of blue
morning glory, inconsequential lilac; that body
you pass on the stair. Press all their faces,
like a kiss, into your unsteady hands.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.