Because the sky burned, I had to unhinge
from the window the mesh screen
to step out onto the roof where the world was
an orange freshly peeled. I held
to my nose my fingertips scented with spring.
Beside me fluttered the wings
of another promise I made you but didn’t keep.
I sat there for hours until my thighs
were raw, cut open by those rough shingles.
I didn’t know yet how to run,
to tether myself farther and farther afield.
This was before your other daughter
died and none of us wept, but long after
those old pumpjacks no longer
needled the horizon clean. The velvet mat stayed
unfolded, but I told you I prayed
anyway. The sky began to hunger for stars.
I counted each scorched one.