Citizen to Citizen
Palaces are the places I have not seen in years —
My head against yours, our sleeping hours overlap.
Daily the dying oaks blend into brown brick.
Daily the monk parakeets scavenge black seed.
When quarrelling one no longer reasons well
Or so she reasons, the message altered by the ending.
When I wake and worry into the night, the wave
Gathering more water, I know my 19th-century
Self is still catching up. Still tanning
On the porch with you, pouring over
Pictures of pretty girls while hoping our faces
Might freeze into theirs.
When her husband died, my grandmother threw
History away. This is a palace.
Like swimming with you in the outdoor pool
Where I dive for a heart of oiled feathers.
Only watching the cat lick his belly in the sun
Will make the wave put down its water.
Citizen, how do you lose a country?
How do you get it back?
Is it a bouquet of rough-edged tulips, opening for days.
Is it a palace, the one-line note from my father.about the author