When I close my eyes, I am again against the brick
in the plaza on the hill, on the stone-cut stairs
leading down to the city.

Missiles smearing above me—
fish scales, platelets of light.

My children are asleep down the hall, I know.
But if the train heaves just right, it’s fire.
Maybe today I see Tripoli’s half-built fairgrounds
in the rows of empty bleachers.

Then will the sky peel back its steel wings?

How do I tell you about the man
who leaned over a balcony rail and was gone.
It sounds like bees my small mind pieced together
when his boot in the courtyard bloated with his foot.

If the power’s down, I’m there in the snuffed-out dark
after all this running. Let it be my daughter’s steps
heavy on the floorboard even if I don’t deserve it.
Even if I’d stolen enough by living that day.


Photo: Abstract Art in Weathered Wood by Christine Majul