six years old: chasing a father’s smile,
a tender belonging – skin glowing under
the warmth of an innocent sun

prayers that felt like they could
touch the citadel of the sky unhindered
flew from tiny, folded hands

thirteen: falling sky fragments unveil
a raging sun, blistering upturned hands
begging for relief and rest

intruders rip tiles from the ceiling,
tear down stable walls, drag out &
expose to the elements a fragile mind

twenty-six: ache of disillusioned longing,
chasing swirls in an endless wilderness,
searching for home under a distant sun

grains of sand stuck under bleeding
fingernails, broken from scratching for
water as the unrelenting sky burns on

twenty-seven: the sun slips into hazy
purple, swallows the warmth, heat, &
distance – leaving a lonely, empty world

and in the silence that stirs
after dusk
I see the light
only known before as
burning hot, angry, daytime-bright –
now scattered through the darkness
in a sea of stars.

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