flagged by ties and equities

the furies have worked hard to bring about one wild ride down.
held up by US customs officers at Peace Arch Crossing.

“what’s the nature of your relationship?” was the first question. too stunned to speak. avocado on my pants. kath replied “we’re friends.”

flagged by ties and equities. flogged by men in uniform. “we don’t normally detain you for more than a year. (it’s been 4.)

“when did we send you back?”

“back sir?”

“when did we send you back to Canada?”

“you haven’t sir.”

three hours later, pulling into Blaine. finally down the highway of purplehearts. seventy thousand in Washington. a reminder of those who have paid the great price for our freedom to travel. my cousin David, one of them. a kid. in Vietnam, one of the millions of destitute veterans that scour the US. his head in the sky.

starbirds on lamplights. bits of tires rib the roadside.

like snowbirds on snowboards, we fly down the mountain to Beatty. it is easy to be alive today.

stopped by cops.

my girl’s big open smile, her placating “yes sir, no sir.” he lets us go.

in the suicide seat, i peruse Talon’s catalogue. in the 1950’s, the Canadian government relocates reserve Indians to urban centres. tired eyes. tired years. o, where are the trees? unstoried. unspoken. poplars temper a silence.

in claustrophobic air, warming temperatures displace entire ecosystems. i feel like i am swimming under water. sometimes. either that, or hot-flashing.

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