• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 09

Getting Back to Romania

After their parents jumped ship
they scaled the wall, escaped from the prison
whose jurisdiction convicted them, not
on tax and insurance, but on race,
because they could not speak English.

Busking paid for tickets back to Dolhaska
the eldest repeatedly clamped and unfolded pleats
of the blue accordion, broad as himself
until pent-up music blared out of it,
the younger, though drowned, strummed his guitar
whose hourglass figure reminded him
of the mother he sang for.

The kettle, always singing between them
conjured tuneless memories: chickens pecking,
in their yard, a football made from pig's bladder,
had each man recall (but out of respect not share)
how their mother without fail overcooked
the pasta their Italian father painstakingly made.