Shall I fear the moderator
who must be moderate,
who smoothens and cups

an ear toward the vapid echo
of repetition masquerading
as solidarity? If entire nations

claim to be founded
on freedom of thought
then the opposite must be true.

There are landscapes
woven only of suppression.
Where someone has found

all other thoughts useless. What use
of language persists against the head
of house or head of state

must maintain some emptiness
against what feeling fills it.
Unless I do not mean

what I said. Unless one part
of the self is able to speak
for all others. If such language

cannot be taken back
then the opposite should be true.
Someone will find the right

thing to say. Someone
will say what is right. Someone
will find it and say it.

Examen in San Francisco

In the coffee shop, unctuous with light, I wait / for the syrup to settle in my gut.