Mud Angel If I go outside, away from the warmth of my house and peel these fabrics off my skin I could lie down under the gray silver sky between a family of oaks and feel the soggy, cold soil beneath me and outstretch my arms, my legs into the shape of a mud angel. Maybe making angels in mud is silly and messy but I need to remember what silly is—messy and beautiful. It could be a playing-after-it-rains silly a why-would-she-do-that silly a wondering-if-angels-visit-these-trees silly. I’d move my limbs together, apart together, apart. I remember making a snow angel many Januarys ago remember that moment and the stinging chill through my thick winter clothes. Remember the childhood freedom of abandoning care like the family of oaks who abandoned their leaves when I wasn’t looking. If I make a mud angel, I’d keep moving my legs and arms to keep warm. Get up, I’d think. But I’d stay. I’d stay to form muddy wings. And it would be beautiful. Moving, but staying, moving, but staying. I’d be filthy and freezing, but it wouldn’t feel silly. Because I would remember such a moment when I’m old—a fallen leaf when I wasn’t looking. And my hair will be the color of today’s gray silver sky. Holding Your Name Before I knew your name before we were asked to say your name You were Someone. Someone walking down the street with your hood on. Someone sleeping in your bed. Someone handing a cashier a 20-dollar bill. Someone falling asleep in your car. Someone playing in an empty park. Someone jogging through a neighborhood that is not your own. Someone driving in a neighborhood that is your own. The names we know, all together, can fill casket upon casket. And together with ghosts of the names unknown are letters of your names linked together like arms, T’s-B’s-G’s-A’s, and R’s Letters crammed against edges and corners and pushing to get out. We can write your name on cardboard in fresh ink and paint it on walls in bold shades and gather in the streets for you to rescue your name from the day’s headlines and from filed reports where it was not handled with care. And march it toward memory… I was not prepared to know your name.