red hair over cold cheeks fresh from the freeway
your lingo, your daunting and dauntless
eyes. But then to lift toward home, mile upon mile
back where they'd barely heard your name
--neither as terrorist nor as genius would they detain you--
your war-flecked protocols--
crammed with your bristling juices
sweet dark drops of your spirit
that streaked the pouch, the shirt I wore
and the bench on which I leaned.
green with the flare of life in it
and if I hold this end, you the other
that means it's broken
broken and therefore dying
broken by force, broken by lying
green, with the flare of life in it
over a mess of marbles, soda caps, foil, old foreign coins
--the first truly precious objects. Rusty hooks, glass.
Then you wanted the words I'd found. I'd give you
the earring, crushed lapis if it were,
of the lightbulb. Long I'd look into your hand
at the obsolete copper profile, the cat's-eye, the lapis.
existed, were spoken, or could be spoken,
like a thief I'd bury them and remember where.
the translators stopped at passport control:
Occupation: no such designation--
Journalist, maybe spy?
only--could I swear it?
That not a word of them
is contraband--how could I prove it?