MONDAY: The Reckoning Year

BY CARL BOON

Copyright is held by the author.

Even now, I prepare
the coffee for tomorrow
and iron my shirts.
I see myself doing,
but I hardly know what it is
I’m doing. I know the air is cold
in Izmir — extra socks,
an extra dollar for Doritos,
the West in a crackling sack.
Nacho cheese not quite cheese
but home.

The papers say
the fanatics are here.
And here to stay.
And what am I? A watcher
of the glows, a man
without a country
save the strays that linger
near the bins on 71st Street.
I roast meat for strangers.
I set my alarm clock.

I perform these rituals
the way old Catholics
cross themselves,
thoughtlessly, and turn
the blankets back. I think of
the girls I’ve desired,
their lipstick and boots,
the walks in the hills of Galata,
all the weather. It snowed,
it rained, it didn’t matter.

This is the reckoning year,
the year of lost gold
and chipped persimmon.
I retain my teeth,
a couple of friends,
and the lilacs of memory.
They’ll be all I need
eventually, and some metaphors
to make the hours go.
I see them going already.

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