My mother dreams a journey with my dad.
En route, he goes, they both think, to the men’s room
which turns out to be a train

that leaves the station, with him on board
holding it all: passports, tickets, visas, money,
address of destination.

“Tell me,” Dad says to our host
for the third time tonight, “Have you ever been
to the Far East?” He gets lost

coming back from the bathroom at night.
She wakes at three to find him standing sleepless, floored.
“Whose house is this? How did we get here?”

“America, America,” she soothes.
“We’re in America.” “I know,” he snaps, “but . . .
whose car did we come in?”

By day there is a vague sadness to him,
something muffled, absent, subdued. No flares.
No more tearing up the lists

she makes him,
or hurling the shreds to the floor.


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