Stroke her hair, and rock.
Open the curtain—show her the flashing,
the bright erasures of light, the careening trees,
that suffocation, apocalypse, another plummet
down the stairs into another
tunnel, another muscled abandonment,
bursting into the world again,
her fists tight against her face.
And when you say,
It’s a loud noise
believe the world is not so scary when it’s named.
Believe that she is armed now
against that vertigo
and she won’t need you, looking down
at her own child’s eyes, black with fear,
or her mother’s body in a box,
or her own hands, aged and empty.