Occasional Work

Portrait of the Poet as Finance Capital


Various among airport halls, they stroll without
Particular destination. Duty Free? They enter,
Relieved to find fellow Americans. “Hors?” “Taxes?”
“What kind of country is this?” Their dissonance
Anticipates our meltdown. They flaunt this inability
To choose. Yet exchange rates remain always
In their favour. In Basra, for instance, they afford grain
Silos, astrolabes, dine on apricots and dream
Of Hammurabi; at Bala Hissar, they sleep with ease,
Vacationers to the vacated. Should we be surprised
To find them, disguised in local robe, anonymously
Grinning amid our customs with nothing to declare?


Originally published in Canadian Literature 223, 2014.