“i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?” –Warsan Shire
I try to pray when the northern winds persist,
refuse to relent to the mewling cries on marshlands
Silence falling on deaf ears
asleep on stone pillows.
The nadir of a setting sun sole unit of measurement
in this country,
its monarchies of ice.
“I will bring you back to this land.”
Apostasy like walking in water fully clothed,
unnatural as childbirth,
remote as a Lapland fell.
I hear the children on the path flanked
amber pale as the
hull of an ark.
Here, where soon the sun-torched rim of day
will set open into night, this edge of earth
pulsing electric with light—
kingdoms boundless as the breezes blown
through mountain ash, heather purpling in
brooms that sweep the moorlands wild
with harebells; even the melancholy thistle
on roadside verges will come
to save us,
after this mile of winter before dawn.