Christine Kitano

A Leaving

Some country is changing
shape, these people fleeing

those people. It is difficult
to name what these people

leave behind. They might open
closets and dresser drawers

but then close them: the wool
coat, so long saved for, too

bulky, the lace underwear still
wrapped in tissue. They might

carry bundles on their backs,
or bags in both hands. Or,

they carry children, wailing
infants swaddled in cotton,

runny-nosed toddlers who
would otherwise fall behind.

By sunset, they walk or run
in orderly rows. Their path

barely lit. The sky a slate on which
no stars dare write a name.


Christine Kitano