I remember standing on the rise, the dig site spread out before me, watching Captain Zimmerman, hands clasped behind his back, walk atop the honeycomb foundations of the ruins with his light, Prussian step. At his feet, the laborers, his charge, toiled in the clay. I was in a wistful mood; in my right hand was a letter from my superior, Neues Museum director Theodore Singer, denying my request to remain in Mesopotamia for another month, and telling me that I must return to Berlin before I caught Yellow fever or Malaria or Typhus or “whatever they have down there” to begin cataloging and translating what I had already found, which, judging by my last correspondence, “was substantial enough,” and demanded an exhibition “as soon as possible, preferably by next spring.” The rest of the crew would remain at the site indefinitely—in an auxiliary capacity, scraping the earth for whatever else it might yield.
The Coffeeshop Buddhist Reclaims His Ego
I know by now that
if I were a true poet
or a determined romantic
I would tell you that your eyes were like the ocean;
hovering, softly, in alabaster waves
above a peaceful blue abyss
Millennial War Cry
We are the kids in America, destined to procreate
deep in the pits of dimly lit rooms
(drunkenly, while on Tinder dates)
We are the kids in America,
who will honor our forefathers’ ghosts
with crying yellow emoticons
and poorly edited Facebook posts
I saw him in the distance, approaching from the snow.
His eyes were filled with the same old light,
but his steps were much too slow.
His uniform, once so clean, was caked with blood and dirt
and frozen tears from the morning mist
clung to the hem of his shirt.
My Vanishing Berlin
Remember the dinner we had that night
on a plaza
in the center of Berlin?
Sunlight – pouring down the patches of my beard
and the freckles of your vineyard-kissed skin
I felt like an amateur movie star
watching your hair
blow back and forth in tennis net curls
in the mist of the wet August air
A shadow upon my mother’s face cast,
She looks to me with her bright composure.
(What becomes of those thorny years now passed?)