Collateral Glory

They’ve been abroad now
Long enough to have leased

Walk-ups on streets thick
With garlic and coal.

They’ve grown to like wine
With breakfast, cocoa in chili,

The way the shops closing early
Has broken their routines.

Mornings on the plaza,
As ivory light thickens

Around the statues,
Women in beautiful linen

Blink sadly at their papers
While the men share joking jabs

Beneath the tobacconist’s awning.
In blue coveralls,

City workers sweep passports
Which collect like dead birds overnight.

Curt Rode