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i.

I know because you are me.
You came here afraid, chased by storms.
You huddle with spare, odd friends
who you doubt you can trust.

As the noise kicks up all around,
you hunker down, raise strong the barriers,
but they are cracked, indifferent.
I know, because you are me.

You curl up in a ball thinking
if you could just make yourself small,
you might not be seen, it might be easier
to stay safe; your thigh bones against

your chest make a stronger wall, you hope,
but your stomach churns with hunger –
I know because you are me –
you need rest, the cold air blows

and blows, and no one has given you
even a small piece of comfort,
though they talk around it plenty.
It is the least of all wonders

(I know because you are me)
that you chose less pain over more,
more certainty over less.
In a bag, black without marker

your body now will be returned
to the place you escaped,
which will have no need for it.
I know because you are me.

ii.

There is a prayer for the forgotten,
a sacred text first uttered centuries ago
along the front of a thunder storm.

She saw it all coming – you, the prayer,
the storm – and wrote down every phrase.
She stands ready and speaks it for you now.

You find yourself surprised
while the words shower over you, warming.
They pierce deep into your fear, awkward

lack of belonging, self-negation,
soften your surfaces and the crusty
edges scraping all around,

and hold you safe in her welcome.
The sun beams here, just for you.
Your name is written for always.

There is such a prayer, I know
because I am you.

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