Organ

I put the children to bed and the house is dark now,

Lit by a television telling me how things are still bad.

You have been asleep for hours, sleeping in our bed,

Like it is a cot, on your back, your arms at your sides,

Eyes facing upwards, the ceiling a tent sky of Kandahar.

I am in the kitchen, looking at a map hanging on the wall,

Which we hung for the children, to show them the world,

With all of the continents and the countries,

Shaped like jagged organs, a kidney, a bowel.

The world is a body, we tell them, that needs every part.

And below Russia, which is stretched out in green mint,

I can see it, Afghanistan, this country you left me for,

When you went to war, and I think about it, about how

Even though you have been home for more than a year,

Part of you is still there and how Afghanistan is an organ,

It is our organ, a heart, beating through this house,

Circulating that desert and what happened there

Into our family, foreign but always here.

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3 Responses to Organ

  1. theredanimalproject says:

    Amalie, this is terrific. A strange and powerful image: the world as a body, the countries as organs.

  2. friend says:

    Powerful and lovely.

  3. Mike Scotti says:

    “beating through this house,” really just incredibly good Amalie. Just so good! The last four lines are as good as it gets.

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