Sight Unseen

rainWhen we stood by the window,
water pouring from the sky ,
when the hot water from the tap
cracked my skin,
when we had to strain to hear
the faintest rhythm drawing in,
covered by the sounds of water
outside and inside
so that we wondered,
would it wait for us
or would we be too late,
when we spent the whole morning
and into the afternoon
in bed, shades drawn, rain
syncopating on skylight, reading
whole worlds and then
the downstairs door clicking,
when we didn’t know if our luck
was slipping in after a wild night out
or heading out into the warm
winter day,
when we held each other, hoping
maybe but mostly not, mostly not
thinking any of these things
(except of the Syrian boy who hadn’t eaten
for a week and wanted “just a sweet,” 
and what we’d read about North Korea
and H-bombs 
and propaganda
and that book about the Nazis
and the playgrounds of Chernobyl,
the past 
rushing up so ruthlessly 
that the news, the novels, all of the words 
might have come with chokeholds 
around the necks of children, 
our children, and a prayer went up then–
mine and hers, though neither of us spoke it
as we lay ourselves down to sleep–
please let them be with us, 
let them be home if it happens, 
when war comes too, to our houses).
No, of these we did not speak
when we turned out the yellow light
and then the white,
when day brightened just enough
to signal morning but the sun
kept us guessing,
something we’d have to buy
into believing sight unseen —
these were the times for what
can only be called Big Love
and the Holy Yes to being
vessels for what we cherish
and came here to name, to know,
to meet head-on
that would have us deciding
what to keep out and whom
to invite in,
when our hearts
were ready to lay down
their arms, ready for battle
with the only weapon
they’d never see


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