Tuesday Poem

One more story he said In a restaurant in Amsterdam

a young woman     came in
speaking Arabic     I said you are Iraqi
she said I haven’t eaten for three days
I said what do you mean     she said
I need to turn    turn myself in
this was a strange language to me
a different logic    Come and sit I said
food brought out    she ate   finally
spoke    her husband now in Istanbul
they’d escaped Iraq    he was taxi driver
sold his car paid $5,000 to Turkish driver
to send her    Istanbul to Amsterdam
a big truck     crates of fruit and vegetables
had a tiny space         in the middle    kept her
there gave her food and water supposed to last
seven days    lasted four strange language
mouth of the truck       she was stuck
in one position for seven days       could not
move crates of figs    pallets cracked
blocked      lodged    then they just dropped her
in the middle of Amsterdam right then    she was
hoping waiting    turn myself in    my husband not
far behind    strange language to me    I did not
understand     turn myself in       in the middle
of Amsterdam do you speak                speak

by Phillip Metres
To See the Earth (Imagination).
Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2008