In Paris his body asked him questions he had to resort to paper
to answer. His pen point dowsed away from the page.
In Berlin he was assaulted by poverty of gesture. He tried
deference. He saluted himself in the mirror.
In Rome he visited his years, a thin pile of foolscap. When
he tried to touch it an alarm went off.
In Moscow his younger fictions lived again, but ran off wild
through the streets. He smoked, wore drab, leaned on a stick.
By Istanbul he was a basket of dried leaves. The marketplace
stood empty, except for the wind.
Back in the States he silenced the curious with tales by
others. Not lies but borrowed memories, well-traveled words.
In his own bed he discovered no survivors. In his dreams
he encountered rubble and weeds. He dug with his hands like
an idiot at a feast. And still no voices called.