Poem 5: 1/22/01



When there's no place left to go
it's where you go,
another country so close
that you're already there.
Your life savings,
once converted into this currency,
cannot be converted back
so you spend it all here
in the casinos that are rigged
so you always win
the wrong money. Years
pass in a day, and the food
takes some getting used to
until you no longer remember
how to cook without these spices
and no longer care.
Such a cheap vacation;
you can always go home tomorrow
or tomorrow until this feels like home.
Where did the time go?
If you do return, you hitchhike
and the border guards don't search your luggage,
don't even seem to care you're back.
The stamp on your passport
says "Regret" in another language
that you remember every night
while you wish that you could sleep.
All day, your hands feel empty
and no matter where you go here now
your clothes have gone out of style.

© 2000 R. Russell

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