The Spy Sonnets
L.S. McKee

2: Border Crossing

You, as always, were far away
when I slipped across the border
in the barbed cover of almost dark,
searchlights probing the foliage looking
for the surface of my body—
I would have given in if they’d found me,
light nudging through trees the way soldiers
check for motions from the dead— barrel
of a gun nuzzling flesh as if trying,
like some wild mother, to wake what is stillborn.
I made myself disappear into it. Under my arms,
I held two countries, the taste of their mud
exactly the same. Everywhere the taste of earth
is the same when you borrow the costume of the dead.


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