The child’s cry is a light that comes on in the house,
when the street is empty and the trees are still.
The light in the window gives voice to the cry,
so when the windows are closed, we still know
her voice is pushing against the walls of her room.
Her cry: a light that comes on in the house,
quivering the filaments in the bulbs, lifting
her parents out of their beds in the dark; at times
a neighbor’s light will echo the cry. Her voice
arriving from what seems to be nowhere—
from inside such a tiny body, it comes on
and on, that cry somehow filling the whole house
when her parents are sleeping, when the world
is sleeping. Like a lighthouse beam it swings around
and out of her body, flooding the window, a cry
emerging from inside a dream, a need or fear
she can’t yet utter; all there is is her breath
pushing the cry, the light coming on in the house—
and her voice: a light planted deep in the cry.