pressing down her lead piling will
over our freshman bodies, oh the
more with it. One was a black poet
read a poem Jil loved
and i held it close to me, strictly, because
her eye was a Sauron eye and I basked in it
like a heat lamp
and in this poem
was the word ‘argentine’
Now, I couldn’t have told you then
why that word turned me off
it was probably pure racism, the kind that lies
in the floorboards. I didn’t want this
poem to be about some other country.
I wanted it to be about me.
And the next day, when I learned the word meant
“silver,” I felt it could be.
Now, at 30 years old, I am flying to Argentina in four days.
It is strange how our unformed perceptions can collapse upon themselves
until we mistake one word for a whole country,
and so enter them both together.