Questions of a New Beginning (4/30)

What does it mean that I am here?
That I am here, what does it mean?
It does mean what I am. That. Here.
Here, I am that—what does it mean?  

My reaction to everything is:
Okay.
I keep wondering if the moly of
the holy will come,
if the trampoline of excitement
will spring out of me like a jack-in-a-suitcase.
It feels natural and puzzling at once:
Look to the east and it is raining,
turn your face to the west and it will be so bright
you can barely see.

What does it mean that I am here?
I saw Bogotá in a dream and bought a ticket.
Your great grandfather moved to the United States
with twenty dollars in his pocket and one sports coat.
A flock of birds flew south to stay warm.
Some motives make more sense than others.
When I first visited, I was given a warm bed
and fed and treated like a friend from the start.
A woman in the mountains told me
we always have a choice.
Others make more sense than some motives.
Both your great grandfather and birds and I dreamt
of promise out there.  

That I am here, what does it mean?
A change of setting is nothing more
than a new ringtone on your phone.
Our habits are not just dirt under our nails
they are our nails.
Did your great grandfather expect ­­
the streets paved in gold would just take him,
that everything else would work itself out?
I lick my finger and hold it up to the sky
to feel which way the wind is blowing,
but the air is still;
my fingernails filthy.

It does mean what I am. That. Here.
When I wake up, I face a white wall
with a small, green-rimmed clock hanging
close to the ceiling. Loved ones back home
think I am brave to come alone.
In the mornings, I lie in bed;
listen to the traffic sound with certainty;
watch the minute hand move forward
while I wonder what to do with my morning,
while I wonder what my morning does with me.
What is brave about waking up,
feeling the indent made by your back in the mattress,
waiting for your spine to make the next move?

Here, I am that—what does it mean?
My name sounds different the way others hold it in their mouths.
Pronunciation often changes connotation.
Time changes meaning.
For a fraction of a second I pause
when introducing myself.
Time changes nothing.
I study my reflection in the glass windows
while I’m riding the bus at night,
the shadow-glazed city superimposed over my body,
squished between a crowd of Colombians,
also going
somewhere.
If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it,
does it make a sound?
If a gringa takes a bus in a foreign country and no one knows her name,
does she even have one?

What does it mean that I am here?
That I am here, what does it mean?
It does mean what I am. That. Here.
Here, I am that—what does it mean?  

 

—–

I missed my poem-of-the-day yesterday, so I-O-U one.
More soon. XOXO.

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