Swallowing Hard

Wandering from Red Sea to Adriatic,
crossing Asia Minor, heading West,
aiming for the meridian and hoping to return
a day earlier than I had planned,
I ran headlong into the truth,
which seemed to be dodging me
and the rest of the world
for some time now.

Traveling alone for centuries,
bargaining with only what I had,
a pound of Fresno peaches and a pack
of frozen anchovies, oh, and two pieces
Sacher torte wrapped in wax paper,
I offered them all up for a surety.

Crossing paths with pundits of every make,
marveling at the mavens and savants
of science and sinistery scattered
throughout the lands and upon the seas,
I craved only that moment of knowledge,
that unmitigated exactness of fact.

Instantly, however, I found myself tethered
to a shopping cart at the checkstand
in a Silicon Valley Safeway, staring
straight away at a tabloid that stated
what I had hoped was a lie:
a charlatan had control of my country

And like the old lady that swallowed
a horse after downing several other
unsavory meals

I died, of course.



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