Sorting through the wreckage of the trash,
she pulls out one child’s sneaker, drops it
in her bag, careens across the lobby.
Here, as everywhere, she carries through
the crowd an island uninhabited
except for her. We ebb around it.
Suddenly she plunges in our shallows,
crying out, “My children!” And we like waves
fall back into ourselves. She spits, to take
the brackish taste away. Toothless, chewing
on the past, she rocks herself, but not
to sleep. She keeps her eyes on the horizon
as if a sail might bud and blossom.