by Amanda Moore
Pretend it was a different adventure:
we traveled in our Chrysler down
8 Mile Road as if in a dinghy
gliding from the bright layer cake of yacht
toward an undiscovered port. Pretend
we were prepared for the awkwardness
of being foreign, of seeking flimsy familiarity
and the perfect snapshot to send home.
We pictured white sheets and hand-holding,
new scenery and our faces changed.
But really it was like the tropics in July: sweaty
and panting, private and primal.
Paradise to one traveler is often hell for another,
so I won’t bore you with the hours passed
watching the ocean swell and retreat,
the tall grasses bend and part in the wind
and some crazy, hooting monkey pulling itself up and down
impossibly straight tree trunks.
When we left at last we had a souvenir,
a golden idol shaped by heat
and meant to be worshipped.