Outside town, along the highway, I see
the white moments of your city—
twine and canvas muzzled, quartered,
hitching like the circular thoughts of birds.
To you, your suffering is not unusual;
to me, it’s strange like your names.
The aid truck rattles between your rows.
A man squats in its crenellated bed
with a copper gun misting mosquitoes.
Your children hurry after him,
swimming crook-armed through the fog,
letting it lick their neck and glaze their forearms.
They breathe its soft cataract chalk.
Your names taste stale and livable in my mouth.
When I try to say them,
there is only the crash
of tents lifting, straining at rest.
Overhead, the dusk turns itself inside out,
whiter and blue, soft as a shirt.
What is ordinary
hangs above us like a church.