he saw my mother in the scar-city—

brown hair and yellow dusted-down dress

with lips too cracked to hold down a language

and he said: you can have some milk

and she said: only if the tongue can taste

and he said: in the war desire is

a bird face-to-face with glass

and she said: i’m hungry for a home

and he said: even bones thirst

and she said: my ankle is rusty from waiting

and he said: pick the soles and follow me

and she said: an undone shoelace cannot hold

together a burning country

and he said: that’s for love and salt water to fix

and she said: i’m looking for my father

in every man—is he here?