For Edgar

The submarine’s inside was dim.
— Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, tr. by Will Petersen

in my youth, I hitched a ride to San Diego, across
chirping desert and distant night, I gazed upon a slow-moving
dark, encasing a convex cerulean cavity

each night, I stood beneath the sky for hours mesmerized
at the perplex reformatory, twinkling lights of broken
glass fragments spreading against a glistening sunset

a faceless man behind a lost reflection of glass
at a drive-up window informs me,
too bad, you know nothing of your own past

how far will I walk against the night?
conforming to a captivity I had never realized

some years later, under the kitchen table, they all huddle,
as the rampage continues toward the back of the house,
a clash of debris from the other room recoils
and broken sounds escape the barricade of doors

I remember I returned in 1970,
all they remember is me sitting at the edge of my bed,
with the war still in my hands

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