By Hannah Larrabee

I felt alone the same day

Anthony Shadid died
on horseback, his clenched lungs

echoed now in the broken wombs
of cities

crumbled stone
bonework and ash

it is a faraway ache like a dream

think of how comfortably we move
into safer rooms of ourselves with
the stillness of monks set aflame

but we can’t step into a yard that is not ours,
not even here, among neighbors

listen, one violin is invoking the others

it lingers
voice of hair
& wood

and the others must respond

to something
so beautiful
they must all break
in unison
& they do

then we are here, in Syria

I open my mouth and no dust collects inside

I think of the summer night sky
boom of distant fireworks the smoke
backlit the climbing magnitude
what if those were bombs

I am that far from war
and no one will talk to me about this feeling:

the voices in the rubble, the ones that
eventually go silent

who acquires them

who moves to speak and instead cries
for help in the middle of a supermarket
stands shocked

in the immaculate aisles of despair

let yourself be that music let yourself die

as a rule, all energy already exists and can
only be displaced

Hannah Larrabee’s full-length collection, Wonder Tissue, won the 2018 Airlie Press Prize. Her chapbook Murmuration (Seven Kitchens Press) is part of the Robin Becker Series for LGBTQ poets. Hannah was selected by NASA, as a poet, to see the James Webb Space Telescope in person. Her JWST poems were displayed at Goddard Space Center. She holds an MFA from the University of New Hampshire.