HPN

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Poetry of Issue #8        Page 11

Tourist, Port au Prince

Stunned loneliness suffuses
this hotel room,
its fan ineffective
as a tremulous lover,
its walls not quite reaching the ceiling.
I hear a woman’s unreal pleasure,
her sudden oh-ah-bebe slicing the air.

Nights splay out in forgotten places,
and, in streaming street light,
an unfamiliar bug with large pincers
lays anemic on the floor.

The sidewalks wake at 5 AM,
their din, a tangle of vines,
contains the wish today might
not be like yesterday. Outside,
an indigent child waits
to escort me, this foreign woman,
anywhere I want to go.
He thinks I don’t know the streets
that finger out in every direction.
I’ve been here before;
I do know these streets.

Unpenned, where should I wander?
A heavy blanket follows me everywhere.
I don’t know why I’m here.

Susana H. Case