Two Poems by Anna Weaver

unshared thoughts traveling alone

What’s that what’s that what
do they call that what is he doing where
am I is that a hooker is that safe 
to drink
how much should I tip is this
the right street gate building door what
did she say what did she mean
am I underdressed?

Oh god, it’s so big small elegant
filthy wet bright hazy hot!

Is this normal did I offend 
am I in the right line what’s 
the word
for please thank you where 
is the bathroom
is that supposed 
to be a toilet what does that
button do 
should I push it and find out?

When’s my next flight ferry subway
bus ride how 
long to the airport marina
taxi queue from here how much
is that in dollars am I supposed to barter
this cab driver cheat me kidnap me resent me
say anything besides where to, miss?

What day is it again what time 
back home
where everyone who loves 
me is sleeping
will they like their souvenirs?

I think I could live here I can’t wait
to get home 
can’t wait to come back bring
my children 
sister lover someone to help carry back
all these questions.


If all this isn’t just for show, maybe
we should go home. If people live

here for reason other than for us
to gawk at, maybe we should leave

them to it. Let’s never again say words
like colorful or poignant, never wave

hands to punctuate the story of what
we once saw through $50 sunglasses

and healthy eyes. Yes, let’s make our way
home and stay there, lick our wanderlust

like a flesh wound, absently stroke
the smooth scar at parties as we listen,

for a change, to the lives of the other
guests. It won’t be so bad, keeping

company with running water, sidewalks,
vaccinations. Eventually we will learn to bear

the full weight of our money. Meantime,
the cities will not miss us much. Schoolgirls

will continue to wait on busses and opportunity,
the waiter will linger over a cigarette out back,

street hawkers and pedicab drivers will drive
on in the haze of their own making, none

of them noticing the merciful absence
of our apologetic smiles and clean feet.

About the author

Raised in Oklahoma, Anna Weaver has yet to find a more satisfying sky or a better sunset on three continents. Not that she’d admit…

Read the full bio

Issue 20 · May 2014

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