The people before us moved
with the grace of nomads, packing up
their small language and grinning
for the textbooks. The older I get
the more I think about my own mortality
rate, but you mustn’t blame yourself
for missing the rat-flea nexus;
it was a full bar, after all,
and the bride and groom were no strangers
to demographics. Certainly,
counting wheat is one alternative
to the lyric, but if I were you
and the President called to apologize,
I would explain that camp is a word,
like congress, with many meanings.
Of course, you can’t change the world
without legal-size paper, but try telling
the Karen from the Kareni.
The people before us moved.
This is their museum.
The sunlight is mostly indigenous.
Matthew Brogan's is a poet and the executive director of Seattle Arts & Lectures.