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[Im]migratory Patterns


Ask me where I'm from, & depending on the day
/ immigrant I feel like being, I may point at the sky

as if it were the embodiment of all places. Ask me
what I've given up, & depending on the hour

/ emigrant I feel like honoring, I may point at the dirt
as if it were the embodiment of all things. Ask me

what it's like to now be an American, & I'll explain
why motionless people will never understand a subject

without a verb. Come, sit—stand, if you like. Ask
the arrow what it misses of the bow, & it'll say yes.

Ask the throat what it misses of a word, & it'll cry
out: I don't know if I'll ever find another like it. Ask

the navy noren curtains hanging in each of my doorways
why they choose to part the rooms of my house, &

they may say: because that's what we're made for. Ask me
where I'm going, & depending on the minute, I may point

simply forward, may move to the front of the flock.


James A. H. White

River Styx

Number 100 / 2018


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