Sunday, April 14, 2013


It has been decades since he traveled the world
yet foreign coins turn up when he empties his pockets
with the regularity of heartbeats
Phrases containing words from entirely different places
enter into the everyday talk in his house
I used to ask for the translation
You would think by now all the foreign syllables
would be utterly clear as mountain pools
mouth ready as it were
like a quiche from the oven
Ethiopian beans on a wood platter
rendang daging and panang curry
my hands obey the messages
not because I understand words
but I have learned to close the curtains once it becomes dark out
fasten them with snappy paper clips
as if I understood each word
Yesterday I placed one of the obscure coins in his hand
folded his fingers over it and checked the color of the nails
he laughed as if I had given him flowers
or more likely a tool of some sort

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