Nocturne in the Aftermath of Violence

by Chelsea Dingman

A black mare, the wind.

Black stones strike the windows, rain

-water rushing inside stone walls,

hail stoning the walls of this

heart I dream. I dream

the children were never born

so they cannot die when maybe

it was I who never lived

because I couldn’t keep them

alive. The stars buried in the wells.

The woods spread below the windows

at which I sit, alone. Dark as night.

The distance between land & light is less

than a mile. I might make it through

& never be sane. I dream my children

ate their hair in the womb, smelled of old pennies,

bound the wind to their bones like poles

to the power lines. In every age, a blur

of trees through the blinds.

But the walls have teeth, like the world.

Each moment I’ve spent outside, a museum.

Of lies, the wind testifies. A child

dies. The stars are alive. The woods

die. The wound is a lie. A rumor dies.

The words are alive. The words,

a world. The world, a mine.

The windows, black as diamonds.