“Don’t move,” he says
“Look here,” he says
So she glares into that mirror eye staring back at her, unblinking
White light swallows up the choking dust for an instant, and then the world returns
He takes her callused hand in his and smiles; she does not smile back

She has seen photographs – oversaturated
stills that fail to capture
the gritty sand, the shuffling feet, the heavy silence amidst the constant noise,
how red blooms on white linen and sinks into the dirt
She hears the promise in the shutter click
and it falls hollow to the ground

Because here
the blue sky bleeds death and the bombs scream as they fall
to shatter already-shattered city bones
This is always and forever and she can hardly remember
when clear skies meant kites, and laughter, and life

So she knows no camera can solve the pain, but still –
the sun never stops rising, and the stars all shine at night
so she hopes against hope that
that promise in the photograph
can one day ring true