Native Resistances

Here is the mind’s Ellis Island: ideas
with swart faces appear, speaking no English.
Pleasurable to watch their pain and confusion
at being categorically misunderstood.
They have come off the cattle boats: ideas
with bombs for eyes, stuttering according to
old patterns of sibilants. Facing them, smiling,
we are like rolled umbrellas that have taken root
or like many married swivel chairs. Ideas,
innocent inside their noisy garlic sausage,
egg each other on to the naturalizing kiss,
which fails. We stand powerful as memory,
all outside-in and backside-out. Ideas
learn to live faintly in a country of no air,
or sail home muttering over the electric water
to die insane in their original huts.