The last time I saw you
was out a rounded rectangle window
obscured by scratches and a steely wing.
I don’t remember grief, only that
I wanted to escape your Carnival colors,
your concentric circle mazes,
your dust and trash and sadness.
Sadness I do remember—
in moments of awkward conversation
when I at last mumble to the questioner
Minneapolis, Oregon, Lafayette.
All these I claim as mine,
forgetting I was the solitary child of missionaries
in a superstitious and mesmerizing land.
And now for a moment just for a moment
a stranger in this strange state
I inhale deeply and gape into sadness:
snapdragon bushes in a spare courtyard;
cockroach corpse in the corner;
sprawling bright of unbridled sun:
Desert visions of Cruceña landscapes.
Touching down in California—
terra cotta roofs and dusty streets
seen out a rounded rectangle window:
The last time I saw you.