(after Elmer Borlongan‘s photograph with the same title; dedicated to all victims of the Boston Marathon bombing)
The birds started singing before five. Morning shuddered into light, cool air.
What animal rolled up its shirtsleeves and pilfered the lock of the cage, its hair
matted as night, its breath the color of knives? Smoke and bombs in the street,
screams, broken glass. The saint, in her lifetime, hardly wore shoes on her feet.
She walked the streets to touch the sick and dying, the young and old; the cat
licking its wounds in the alley, mewing for a bowl of milk— Anyone who forgot
how the moon could spill its honey to overshadow the lamps by the bay;
and still there will be more. Wreckage and debris, charred ashes that grey
each stone on the ground. In a stampede, dust the color of gold.
O love, o neighbor, o stranger huddled in fear and waiting for parole:
how much more we belong to each other. How we wait to be consoled.
In response to small stone (237).