In this dream, I change.
I tuck astray hair behind my ear without irritation,
slant over the child with a smile the world hasn't seen,
look the year in the eye before it stares back. I smile
so my sabr is documented - my attendance, a matter
I feel my Pulse with a wrist half a world away, hush Aleppo
with my finger pressed to the parted lips of tear gas.
I taste ash and tell myself it is not children bones.
I resist the urge to pray. Send thoughts with guilt.
Come up for air only to wish to have lost the ability to.
In this dream, I remember the poem.
The one this soil once trembled underneath.
My pregnant mother's feet hurt with my added weight;
she always knew this world was not one for a heart
like mine; she didn't hear my heartbeat until I was breach
at birth. Somewhere in Kashmir, the valleys shake under
a new mother's footsteps. The Himalayas tremble
with a baby's fear. Somewhere between my smile and the pellets
holding their breath in the hills, a mother prays.
the dream can be a dream in her baby's head.
the nightmare can be called what it is.
Perhaps, the smile stings --
the crying finally