Friday, November 12, 2010

AN IMAGINARY TRIP AROUND THE WORLD WITH LORI BURKE


The Tarmac sighed at JFK, relieved of the weight
of another jet plane, and we were off: the air so deep blue
I was sure we were astronauts in space.

We splashed down in the wet streets of London;
the fog found us in a fine embrace, and the damp air masked
the sweat of my hands. The world was quickly getting older.

In Paris I blinked and you were gone; it was a mystery.
Unfortunately, so was my French. But I found you
at the Louvre, and I helped pitch your tent
so you could stay as long as you liked. And you did.

Horus and Anubis awaited us in Egypt,
but an Anatolian tide drifted us East across the Mediterranean,
where we got sidetracked while swimming with the Cypriots.

We sheepishly snuck through the Suez,
and the crocodiles of the Nile clapped their jaws together
in recognition of your beauty.

Up through the former Republics we pushed,
from Copts to gypsies and Cossacks to Jews,
then you donned a burkha (and I did too!)
and we were anonymous sisters
as we snuck through the cradle of civilization.

We bumped toward the Orient on elephant-back in India,
shedding clothing as the subcontinent became increasingly tropical.

Then Angkor Wat, where our eyes widened,
and our tongues forked,
and you said "we're Western no more"
in a language we'd never heard,
but that we both somehow understood.

Hong Kong was all catamarans and baccarat
with my brother's fiancée's family.
Also: the sun reflected off the waters of the Pearl River Delta
and onto your naked feet.

South America was a blur unequalled;
suffice to say that Bogota will never be the same.

We smuggled ourselves across the border
in the back of a snowbird's motor home;
we both had changed beyond the recognition
of our US Customs Dept.

Our ancestral homeland the Gulf Coast would not forget us,
from mom and dad to the snakes and possums and pelicans,
but no one was as happy and as proud to see us
as our own private Brooklyn apartments.
Let's meet again next Tuesday to hatch our plan
to do it all over once more.

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