There is no blue swimming pool in Baghdad,
only the muddy pulse
of two rivers.
Nobody wants to swim there anymore.
Children are still laughing in the ruined garden.
Pleasure is warped, like the mahogany skin
of a boat trapped in sand, or like a bird’s wing
stripped to the bone.
Stains: rust, charcoal, calligrapher’s ink.
Do not forget blood.
The weapons truck grinds its steel gears
uphill, crushing one silver necklace
of prayer song.
It’s really all about fire.
Waiting for rain.
When fire enters wood
a louder breath escapes.
Molecules of heart.
Shattered porcelain. Abandoned marble.
Bronze ears tarnished by salt
beneath the inland sea.
Your daughter screams from the volcano’s heart.
A branch snags the soft belly of a wild cat
who will devour your sons.
Do you mourn your lost twin’s cry?
The touch of his skin?
The echo of footsteps?