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   s a n    f r a n    t h u n d e r    m a p    (i)  (ii)

--- M Y T I L I   J A G A N N A T H A N

		for Leticia Hernandez-Linares

So your weather admits a hunger 
of doors: translucent, slamming, 
glass-wrathful, the lift and land
of cormorants, gathered black, seadrift, wet 
under wing, the pier split with their high 
small screaming.  Trooped swoopers, wind-slapped, 
double to gull-thunder, stun.  
Some things are chosen; some 
walked into, desperate stowaway ship of relating.  
City we the portioned city casts up a bigger sky—alerts 
the eye—the muralists who argued truth on walls so walking 
would heed.  Fierce makers, lamp to our making, 
stamp the lighted street of insurgent 
particulars.  Trash monument tinderstick scrawl.  Rescinded will, 
rescinded window.  Incisions of coastal entry. With backward looks, 
the wine of sight flowing, we make sense, or announce it.  
Doors push open and surround decision.  Cross street 
I meet the Afghani shopkeeper who grew up in Salvador,
diplomat's son who won safety, fluency, and an altered map, 
but could only return as close as the regional similar.  Cloth against 
the damage of houses.  Think of that parallel jostle in sidewalk 
midswim—our kinship via glance, error, confusable skin.  
My people?  Yours?  Pilgriming city I've knelt at walls,
snapshot-caught the art of torquing the visible 
futureówrapped self in the telling of a place,
or place's sharp retort—threading us,
responsible.  Engine of shoreline, of the shoring-up,
as the child washes up to you, the water goes, and I as water go
out as I know it, into it, a jump into muscle and news, faithful held
in the blunt hand promise, missive 
of our wreck and our wake, 

© crossconnect 1995-2002 |
published in association with the |
university of pennsylvania's kelly writers house |