circa Summer 2003; the second-to-last poem I've written. hmm.
through the June rains: strung like laundry
across narrow roads. We walk underneath
the colors, point out the countries we recognize.
Maj says that all flags are prayer flags.
I usually believe what he says. I do want the wind
to lift prayers from these drenched banners,
but only if the wind is blind to their spangled loyalties.
Some months later, Ben and I buy a quilt
patterned with flags. Their colors are inverted,
rendered unrecognizable. I dream well under the weight
of orange crescent moons, greens stripes, pink stars.
The wind doesn’t reach this quilt; its prayers go unnoticed.
Soon, I’ll wash it, hang it on the clothesline to dry,
wait for the wind to clutch and shake the dormant flags.
Their prayers will scatter: brilliant, haphazard, loving.