She returns to the ash where her house once was. He sifts through mud for a photograph,
for anything. In places I cannot fathom, a child clings to a tongue-sized remnant
of a soccer ball, a faded blue hexagon at the center.
What the fire didn't take lies in sharp, twisted ruin. What the flood
didn't drown is torn in countless halves. What the war didn't kill
slips into a hollowness where only pain endures. And here, on the other side
of the coin, there is a girl turning 8, and I want her to have the party
her innocence deserves, a table heaped with joy's bright-bulbed excess,
where the partygoers binge on confetti cake and take turns claiming themselves
her best friend as she bounces recklessly around the room, oblivious to her fortune.