There are those who say
I have no culture or I 
have no [history] by which

             they mean 

[they believe] 
a lineage [begins] 
in the aftermath

            of war

and not before
It takes centuries for smoke
[to clear] enough of an opening  

            Ghosts return as night 

folds again
The fragrance of laurel
leaf interposes between 

            one page and another

You can barely discern
which hand [wrote, erased,
            But everyone comes

from somewhere 
Is coughed up from
the damp belly of a ship

          onto shore

Count the notches
carved into wood
One for each [departure

           or arrival]

Lay your palms  
where children and adults
shuffed down a gangplank

         holding in their hands

pictures of their lungs
The spore of a potato
from the old country 


in a trouser cuff
Salt-smell clinging 
to each collar

        Every mouth 

holding on to syllables
that once made the only

         Each one [from]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.