Hope chests

Chests.

Golden chests,

embossed,

oak chests,

hope chests,

with linen and wedding oaths,

futures tucked away

with smell of jasmine

and laundry

and furniture polish…

But today,

I am thinking of billions of human chests,

breathing chambers,

givers of life,

invisible lanterns,

chambers of tender souls,

keys to self,

entrapments of hearts,

crimson butterflies,

warriors against plague,

fumigating torches

scattered around hospitals

in London, New York, Bergamo and Birmingham.