Baby brother, don’t worry about the world.
You can fix it later. For now,
bounce from trampolines to treetops
to rooftops to hilltops. Sing to the stars.
Shut your eyes when wars are televised.
Eat apples whole—don’t worry about seeds
or greed. The world’s seas wash away blood
and disease. Just see the red of my lips
on your cheek, the sun yawning over our home,
your toy firetruck, the red walls of your bedroom
that will keep you safe and warm
until it’s time to fix the world.

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Mariel Norris lives in Cambridge, MA, where she teaches English to immigrants. In her free time, she writes snail mail, goes for river-strolls, and draws distorted fish. A Bard College graduate, she received the Academy of American Poets Prize for Bard in 2013. You can read her poetry in Slink Chunk Press, Scarlet Leaf Review, and TreeHouse, among other publications. Her work is archived at marielnorris.com.

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