Before it starts, we are willing to give our names

by the fistful. We package our sentences to volunteer

our locations, and live without questions. Don’t make us be less. What we do

before the wall is see the middle like a window. What we see

as it rises is our feet, bindweed seeding, teasel and purslane.

Above, the sun shifts, unkillable, in the migration of sky.




If we browse the turns before the turns

turn darker, we will have sung every corner of this rounded

city. When light still has instance we will have walked each dirt road

in company with fleeting strangers, talked as community

to the now-trembling ones. But we have lost our direction. Footprints

pass to shadows and seek a path far enough to follow.




Each controversy is a detail removed

from paradise. How do we hold who we are when a chair is denied

to those nearly tripping, the hearth from the people in cold

unsleeved, and from the most hungry a thick slice of meat? Gone

are the depths of our pleasures. We stay very empty,

stay quiet. Though inside we scream.




A sky on one side of the wall; the terrible air

and guilt, but still sky on the other. No one crosses. To find the will

to build a wall vast enough to crack apart, to raise such shade

on those near-verging on this country, to halt the banned ones

who carry unbearable their shadows—who are we if we can

betray such names and think it truth?