Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Civis Romanus Sum

This appeared in Plainsongs.

The immigration man will let you through
Because you’re white and smell okay, but not
So Customs, who keeps profiles on a lot
Of funny types, including some like you.
You will feel funny, if he wants you to.
You’ll act as though your Henry James were hot.
That biro is suspicious. You forgot
All that old stuff, which looks like something new

When undeclared. So make a speech: I deal
In artifacts of the mind. I’m odd. I write
At painful and eccentric times of night.
I smuggle into books a way to feel.
I bear impediments of no appeal.
I am a citizen. I transport light.

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