By Tina Carlson
After rain, the earth shines in gratitude. We are nine,
awake on wet grass and the sky, a vast cup of stars.
Because our lives are small fires buried under dry fields,
the muddy homes of childhood, auditoriums of weeds, and trees.
Even discomfort glistens here.
The whole world breathes together, watches messages
pass across the wide face of the moon. We were born into wildness
after the war. Each year, watch the hillsides burn aspen yellow,
then the wind changes everything to brown.
For you, I am an arsonist.
Our fathers take aim at us behind doors with imaginary weapons,
still living in battle. Almost criminal, our desire to thrive in this world.
Our futures arrested, like the cat’s gift in the doorway:
birdlike, perfectly curled into the shape of an egg, gelatinous.