Poem 139

on the car ride home, being just an american


That line being so vital

The Lebanese line.

Border chaos and culture

Dotted queue, crooked but marked

A skeptic world-wanderer

Beset an unsettling meddling moor.

I asked what for, once,

When we were laughing.

Why draw lines—

You began with your people

Their thunder-clap of words

Their caravan-camel trade,

Their hand crushed clams

Their violet-robes on bending backs

Relaxed onto sofas, ennui in portraits

I asked for your reasoning

Your geography of men

Your hand drawn marches

Your pithy crusades

Your life sized crosses

Your crested shields of peace.

You said, the east is not the farthest

That a westerner can go.

You said, the lines are but a compromise

For all the ache I know.


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