Learning about Constellations

Today Baha is not dead; she is twelve years old,
sits beside a flower vase, presses her thumb to the clay.
Her heart buds into a magnificent sun,
waterfalls its warmth all over her satin face.
Taller than all her classmates,
in the corner she leans her head to white paper,
carves moons out of her notebook,
while other children
sit and listen to the teacher. The class
is learning about constellations.
She takes colors off a flower, folds it to her skin.
A chameleon gathering quotes from leaves,
she questions daisies, reveals all suggestions
when he stares into her eyes.
Baha grabs a speck of darkness,
molds it into a moth and places it in the darkest point
in his eyes. He sits close to his daughter in the yard—
joins her and the moths. Baha is not dead—
she is walking her way into myth, a world
of new constellations where buried milk
nourishes the placenta to heal
his broken bones, broken eggshell of his heart, mend
each back together with the energy of a clock
that never stops moving backward.

Saddiq Dzukogi, “Learning about Constellations” from Your Crib, My Qibla. Used with the permission of the publisher, University of Nebraska Press. All rights reserved.