I left. My bones still felt the wound
of arms that wound around my frame;
my skull remained a chamber tuned
to litanies of love; my name—
their leitmotif—became a spell
too long for form I-94.
I thought I had abandoned hell
but learned it travels light. The war
had ended long ago and yet
Death played and hummed its meager blues
and grinned along. I don’t regret
leaving the place: I pay my dues.
Yet sometimes I recall that scene
of innocence at gate 16.

Pedro Poitevin