My God, why does the bruised flower inside me cry Open? Shape-shifter birds, my daughter called skyward: flock of Holy Ghosts, can I fly with you? She’s my compass toward paradise. My human will, the only door for evil spirits to enter. Holy the purity of animals in forests and pastures, breath hymning outside my ordinary house. Your grace alchemized into a luminous dove. Your tongue is useful. Tell me, how did I look before my first grief? Heaven’s language never passes away. Bless the age to come, when we name suffering: fire’s harmony. Yet we live between the countries of the dead. Change me, O Ghost, your somnolent voice in the air. Listen: It’s not simple to be a mother in this world. It’s easier to wake alone and start the teakettle. But holy their slumbering cries. Holy this world, not the world. Holy the Ghost’s memory, where I’ve lived for all time and no time. My heart, his perch. Ghost, in storms and tsunamis. My Ghost, who lives in plagues, in accord. My Ghost, who nurses children, who says, show them mercy in your everydayness. The beginning, the end.