I have nothing against joy, 
but suffering 
never had a book to read. 

I love fat babies and whipped cream 
and baskets 
full of persimmons, but I know 

some of those fat babies might be 
scrawny orphans 
peeking around street corners

for food or dead parents, some 
might be standing 
at street corners right now 

holding cardboard signs that are all
translations 
of "please don't forget me."

It's not that I don't want us to cross 
over to joy, 
it's that I want us to carry 

suffering with us, to sit suffering 
in our laps, open a book, 
and trace the words as we begin 

to read,"Once upon a time..." 
I have nothing against joy, 
but suffering never had a book to read.