There’s nothing living here,

Only sea shells warped to the shapes

of their exiled residents,

trinkets from the kingdom of childhood.

The forecast calls for white phosphorous

with occasional sun breaks

barrel bombs in the afternoon,

and in the evening

checkpoints and falling temperatures.

We reach for what is useful,

a skin to wear between weather

patterns, a flame resistant faith,

hope enough

to fit into our backpacks.

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha