All we know is that she was from Smyrna
And like mother, was a teacher.
Who gave birth to two boys
and was wed to a writer like me.
I was told
that before her photo was stolen,
she looked like you.
Which is to say, you are a walking remnant of the family I may never know.
When Americans adopt babies, they never imagine the consequences of separating
siblings for the sake of some image
and how in building a family,
they break the one that’s left behind.
When eyes move about a city that has crossed strangers tied to their own blood
the sounds of celebrations remind me of my phantom philia
and the life I could live
if I knew more about the woman from Smyrna.
(Image by: Andrew Seaman)