Be born in a place
that will become a war
in thirty-six years.
Remain as it festers.
Molt three children, very young.
Lose them, bury them in your backyard.
Choose a border to cross.
When the war’s rattle becomes louder,
wrap your jewelry,
the smell of your clean hair,
the nightmare where you are so smooth
you no longer have mouth or eyes,
and your money
in your grandmother’s silks.
Bury them below your children.
Wait for the boys
that grew up a few streets over.
They must be allowed
to grow into their uniforms
to accustom their legs to moving things
that are heavier than a soccer ball.
Stand away from your door
when they kick it in.
Let them sniff past you
into your yard.
Let their boots scuff the ground you dug into last weekend.
Let the fingers of one boy
bruise your arm above the elbow.
Let them dig until they hit the bundles of bone and scrap.
They’ll begin to swallow themselves.
Let them leave.
Retrieve the deeper things. Cover the rest.
When the blasts ash over your garden,
ready your mouth for grit
flick the broken latch of your front door,
and step through.
Honor Vincent’s work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Entropy, The Ekphrastic Review, Nowhere, and Neologism. She’s currently writing a comic series about Boudicca and her daughters. She lives in Brooklyn, and has been kicking around the island attached to it since the day she was born.