I have no poem today, only a ringing ear in a quiet room,
and the "mother of all bombs"
can cause deafness
up to two miles away,
when it does not kill or maim
or shake you or knock you over.
Some mothers are like that,
I suppose. But the women I know
who became mothers felt raw
and exposed, too sensitive
to the pain of others, especially
children, even to speak of it, even
to read the news. At the Orlando
Science Center, a young white man
wears a red t-shirt with a political
message that to me speaks of hatred.
He walks past me, a woman
(a person to be grabbed?),
past my brown-skinned son
of indeterminate race (a person to be
dragged on or off airplanes?).
The young man wears a crucifix
so large and detailed he should hang it
in a quiet corner and pray. I think of
his rather brawny Jesus returning on Easter.
Christ is back. And this time he's pissed.
The sunlight holds us in the glass walkway
above a busy street. "Do you believe in
science, then?" I want to say.
"Do you believe in mercy?"