The Potomac - Mary Tabakow
July 2007 - THE POTOMAC

Expat at the Equator
   Mary Tabakow

A shadow at noon - that black dot about your feet - encircles
your place at the belly button of the world, but it's not
what you'd wished for, cipher-self, a mere period
to end an overreaching passage, you know,
one full of lush adjectives
before every blessed noun.
No, you were dying to be there, in tropic
whites, strike a certain pose for a crisp silhouette,
true black, sharpened, as if cut anew in a blaze
of unrelenting light. Only another
country would do.
Fat-fingered, trembling, you folded like bargain
cottons into freshly lined luggage, creased
a careful passport, deleted some of your best
work for space.
You felt, then, it was best not
to think too much about it: night flights, warm water.
You knew, back then, what you were out for.

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