Three men step with the grace of air
into an upstairs room, slipping between
the bars of the windows to bend their
backs over a cot with stained sheets
and a shuddering form, arms twisted
over her head, chest unmoving as the night.

They reach in, grasping out the fragments,
inspecting the shrapnel between translucent
fingertips, light shining through and
reflecting off the edges to reveal holes
she herself could not have known of –

bruises, slits, and tears through which
the light leaked, seeping through the
years to leave a vacant shell of tiny gaps,
but which within a wounded spirit leaves
a shredded husk, a murderous abyss.

With hands as firm as a foundation,
eyes as sharp as steel, the men would
scrub each shard with the edges of
their robes, in silence, always, daring
not to speak of what they understand:

Before the night is out, they will bend
their heads over another form just like
this one, worn edges to be bound, and
somewhere a psyche so carefully stitched
together again has begun its unraveling.

But, as a bone, it fuses stronger upon
its healing, each stitch more aware than
ever of its own vitality, and these men
need not fear that they will run out of
thread or that a pricked finger may bleed.

Perhaps in your unraveling, you'd notice
how very lightly they press, the tears
that spring to their eyes upon the sight
of another pile of shards heaped together
in the faintest corner of your heart,

how white their robes stain each heartstring
so cautiously unknotted, with such a strength
that it may burn at first, but with a twinge
that aches forgiveness and continual repair.
These men soon fade and do not wait for thanks,
appearing to our eyes as dreams of mending.