For weeks afterward, photos zing at you, children
weeping in another language, peering into doorways
to find their parents, children gnawing on gristle,
who scrunch up, crouch down, hoping to escape the cages.
A toddler grips her mother’s red skirt just before guards
wrench her hand and split the two apart. The polite voice
of a lost kindergartner repeats the cell number of her auntie
over and over, what she has practiced for months
in a language strange to her: you will want to call her
so she can pick me up, she tells a guard. These children
start appearing at our corner stop sign, in the tea aisle, beside
the altar, like questions you cannot answer. You, yourself,
a child again in the hungry, weeping, sleepless dark,
beside you, their sleeping bodies arranged like Z’s and C’s
on the concrete floor, covered with crackly silver sheets.
Outside you see guards shoving our creator, who once visited
his creation, toward the wire mesh door. He is a beautiful child.
Before a border guard can herd him into the cage, you feel
his warm breath, touch his brown toddler hand, hear him ask
“where is my father?”