There is some comfort in knowing that scorching heat would kill it,
force its death in the stomach, maybe.
The newspapers also say that it wouldn’t survive in extreme cold
but that is only for the foreign born. Till then, we linger between
the passing of the hours and the silent streets—one day living into
until the sun’s rays touch the floor beneath an open shutter.
We will mark its arrival in the names of our children,
the folds of our breasts, the ghosts of some time lovers.
We will measure loneliness in the
words of prophets. Women always have.
We’ll remember the music when sounds have mingled with boredom:
YouTube videos played on a loop—Taylor Swift and Lorde—
and grandmothers telling us the tea is done. Day in, day out.
And somehow, we will find a way to grieve with Mary
suckling a hungry baby eight hundred kilometres from home.
And we will tell Joseph that Nazareth is near if only
he would drag his cart a foot away from its fountains.
That innkeepers have a way of keeping what is in, in.
We will place our diligent ears to floorboards
to catch the beat of hooves in the evening, sometime
when the sound of a conch breaks on the tiredness of this body, this poem.
It will make us wonder if this desert will light a candle to his coming.