Lent, and old French hymns decorate
the hours. These are sad songs, migrating
sorrow from oud to violin
in the ancestors of low notes, carrying echoes
of tabla, dropping among our voices like rain.
At home the garden stirs. Kingbirds fight
for scraps off the vine. I bruise
sweet peas urging them
upward on poles
trussed with chicken wire
before the heat comes
and withers their pastel bloom.
Chicken wire. You would never mention this,
but I have seen photos, how one group
is kept from another
in Kakuma camp. Your baby
reaches through its twisted hexagons
to claw air on the other side.
You should be in line for food
but slip past guards and relief workers
into Nairobi, blue light of the internet café
stinging your eyes. A few words tapped out
and the same brittle blue
lights up a nightstand across the world.
My job is to be your anchor, your sponsor
when you arrive.
When will you arrive? The days disappear,
are turned back
at the border, money gone,
there never was any money. You ask
do we still want you?
Can I hit reply all,
yes? You are wanted there is a place for you here
don’t believe the reports have faith (press send.)