After News of a Border Shutdown, I Venture Out for Fries

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Can I interest anyone in the newspaper of my spirit? Feathers,
today, it’s mostly feathers—once again these field reports from the interior

have failed to document the wildlife rattling around in me,

goings-on lost to the usual grammars of a Monday crowded
with anxious thoughts. Nevertheless, as the drive-thru line at Wendy’s 

winds out from the parking lot, and drivers mug

to jockey for position, as fringe groups graffiti their invective
across the internet, and the border we once disregarded like finches do, 

day-tripping in our family van, is closed,

I riff toward some clause that might disrupt this arrangement
the world seems to be stranded by, mid-performance, grounding us inside 

our separate plots beneath the signal. If to love someone

is to devote to them my full attention, I am afraid that I am
losing the ability to love. If I flinch before the storm, bartering like a zealot 

at the steering wheel as rain begins to pummel bystanders

I am no more likely to arrive at my intended destination
still intact. Perhaps it is you, Neil Young, disembodied and streaming through 

the speaker of my Ford, who will accept my confession:

my mother lived in America for twenty years before
she decided to become a citizen, and when she did, I skipped the ceremony, 

my distaste for posturing even as a teen too terrible

to swallow. I think now, beneath the blacklight of a war
that wouldn’t end, what I mistook for flag-waving in the federal courthouse 

was for her an act of self-defense, in media res,

the moment when she felt most threatened, reciting to the judge
his own secondhand pledge as the landscape inside her dimmed into memory 

and the birds there one by one began to lose their names. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022