Men in Airports
The rickety electric underground train takes us to another basement—

I think
as the mechanics lurch
that this is what the Romanoff's felt
when they were led into the lower rooms
in Ekaterinburg

each sullen faced
thinly veiled stranger is just
another Bolshevik

my mother never needed to warn me
about strangers, I already knew

understood well
when most girls were
dreaming of sweeter husbands.

The men in the airport are
stoic, quick glance,

I sit beside
a young girl, but she stops me,
says, my dad's coming back

I wonder who told her to say that
or if, like me, she just knew,

I don't mean to watch her later,
watch her board alone, but I can't help it.

The souvenir shop is small and crowded,
a boy tries to buy a shirt, but the clerk, dark
skinned, says he can't buy it without I.D.

obviously, he's too young for I.D.

the line breathes a collective sigh of
annoyance. I have two sweatshirts in my hand
and a carryon bag that's brimming, a well
dressed man in a dark trench coat hands the clerk
a 20, the boy gives him his cash to pay him back
but the man shrugs it off,

he's wealthy, I can tell from the luggage
but it feels like a good dead;

when it's my turn the clerk doesn't ask me for I.D.