History bears down 
again: its breath the humid 

reek of cities where we scuttle 
like crabs in the shadows.

Brown and bareheaded we climb
up platforms as trains clatter away 

to pre-set destinations—Some 
parts of the world act with this 

kind of certainty all the time,
as if arrival were a given, as if

the doors will always open.
But so frequently now are we 

addressed again: with unexpected 
blows, with names that halve 

and mongrel us, that mail-
order-bride and nanny us, that want

to throw a pail of disinfectant in
our faces. History is pages and pages

of script: unclean in parts like these, 
the ones they'll classify apocryphal.

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