A journal of narrative writing.

The air conditioner dies and he peers into it,

then, probes it with a hanger.  Hot breath wades in

from the open window.  We dab our sweaty brows

and look out on the barren playground.  I imagine

the children, careening headlong down the slide

or hanging from the monkey bars, each child,

safe now—no hoods caught on branches,

no feet swinging, kicking.  The oak sheds

pocked leaves, fever worming through its roots,

as flu tiptoes from one flushed child to another,

mucus creaking in their small chests.

I dreamed my niece's burns healed

in beautiful swirled scars.  I dreamed we knelt

beside the garden plot, and, my hand guiding hers,

we drew a circle in the soft topsoil.

She said the moon's face is patched skin.

I worry for those who don't pray in the careless world

where someone's always bleeding, and there's nothing

I can do.  I wash and dry each knife,

slipping each blade into the wooden block.