These are not the windows
of the red-light district
smeared against the sky,
the snow not unusual
in place of tulips.
Once they gave great joy.
(Pay attention!) Familiarity forgets
the truth sometimes, the vowels dulled
by train wheels, your ghosts
preceding you. Cue
the prairies. Cue the Gangetic plains.
A condition of the skin to hold a carriage
that holds language that holds you.
Somewhere Borrowed, Somewhere Blue
I thought I knew where I came from,
but I lied. I shift my truths
like furniture in a rented house.
Cumin, coriander, tuberose: what does it
matter if my memory draws
blanks? Even perfumers are anosmic.
Everywhere I go
belongs to other people.
I must be careful with my words:
they are borrowed currency.