We are not
extinct, though I thinkmyself into the past.
You wake upin the middle
of the night certainthere is someone
outside your window,afraid
that we will do to youwhat you’ve done to us.
sneaking through thetrees, smallpox-infected
blankets presented to youas housewarming gifts—this threat of painis worse
than the pain itselfand when I speak
it’s to make you ache.