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park benches
It's like how orangutan means forest person
and in Paris you can find them in
glass menagerie cages
and on the islands that used
to be theirs,
the cages are steel.

My widowed aunt prays
for wall street, prays hard
glaring at the piles of paper
spilling off the kitchen table
onto the linoleum with
little roosters on every other tile.
Praying, and she knows who to blame
Yes, she knows how they treat their women
those veils.
She feels the failure of leadership
in her bones.

The news, to her, is comforting
She keeps it playing, quietly,
in the background
while she fills the dishwasher
and tries not to remember him sickly.

She tries to remember his back
straight as a tent pole.
He looks for bear tracks
wandering too close to
walking trails, campsites, playgrounds.
She tries to remember him
building the perfect fire.
She tries to remember before.
Before is blurry.

The helicopter on the screen
crashing near a mosque
is in high definition.
The smoke is clear and
the pundit's voice is crisp, confident.
She prays.

She needs me to drive to the supermarket
to pick up distilled water
for the oxygen mask
she straps over her face at night.
She thanks me.

Together we take my smallest sister
to the zoo
where there aren't any cages
because we're civilized and humane.
There are only small walls
and moats.


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