by Emily Lugos

                    for Alyan Kurdi and the Refugees Labeled As Migrants

I have forgotten they make coffins so small
His palms run down the synthetic wood
Carving goodbyes into the grain of its burrow
Heartache splinters his fingers
Knuckles are the burial ground
For what war has taken
The soil he stands on 
is his own home
it has rooted him back in and 
has taken a part of himself for leaving
Punishment from his own country
He thought leaving was his only chance 
staying was a death sentence
But both life and death have mixed up
The used and the taken
Dust and dirt,
That’s all that was left
Nothing of sandy beaches
Nothing of water—
Nothing of water
No chance of drowning
Yet he feels his lungs consumed
His breathing escapes from him
The boy’s body was face down
His arms at his sides
He looked like he was sleeping
He is only sleeping
As the water lapped at his face
He is only resting
They tire so easy
These children
He remembers him staying up sometimes
Terrified from the noise
Then falling back asleep for hours
When the bullets finally stopped killing the air
The gunfire must’ve stopped for him
The officer picks him up
He cannot even hold himself back
My god, 
he drowns everyone with him