24 June 2009


Dreams of Hemingway once
sufficed -- my battered old copy of Islands
In the Stream
still travels everywhere
with me, and I promise myself
frequently, I’ll read it again

Halcyon days they were, when visions of expatriates sipping
anise on the Left Bank and signing on
with ambulance crews to prove
their devotion to a cause could extend past
paint or canvas
moved me as much as the words they called their own.

At 18, I dreamed
it was enough to flee one’s homeland
and cluster abroad in pockets of conscience
to retrieve one’s life
from a predicted, prescribed fate.
At 18, I planned to travel
widely and leave
all calculation behind.

And at 20, I did.