The Journey

You told me how you came
walking — busing — rafting
from El Salvador to California
to the house of thirty others
to a man with a Dodge Durango
who took you across land
with boundaries like old veins
unsure of the blood they carry

You confessed how you
feared — ached — smelled
all those miles of pulling
the same three shirts tight
to your chest and knees
night after night in territory
blistered by borders
that never stop burning

You smiled then at the
curb — stranger — phone
that finished your journey
with your cousin in New York
at Five Guys eating a burger
for the first time and thinking
that it didn’t taste so bad
that it was like everyone said

——

I thought of you this morning
as I walked to work in the city
that we both still think is strange
and then I saw a cat licking mint
off a bush in a manicured garden
and I wondered how we do it
this coming and going
this never being home

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