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Monday, February 18, 2008

Regarding Your Silly Assed Expectations / a draft

Regarding Your Silly Assed Expectations / a draft

I have struggled with a second language
The way you wrestle a carry-on bag,
a laptop, a purse and Victoria Secrets shopping bag
as you depart your flight at the terminal.

My tongue manages to say things—
It’s not dependable. Not the way an open window is.
I’ve thought a lot about it. Perhaps too much
of an intellectual leaning. I’m perplexed
to the point of linier grief.

Passing through customs I suppose I can be insouciant.
It is only after the fact that I wallow in subverted dismemberment.
My head rings with the lyrics “too late baby” and I swallow a lump
hanging beneath my chin.

It is the expectation of everyone that I assimilate. I say, “Fuck that!”
Is it a crime to be only marginal in a second language
where most are only marginal in their first?

In customs I declared a bracelet left to me by my grandmother,
Two hundred twenty-nine Paso, a book of matches
with Hector Barilla on the front, my clothing, toiletries
and a cheap paperback, "Say It In English."
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