Visa

By Solmaz Sharif

From past participle of videre or to see.
The sight decided by officer.
The officer deciding by blood sugar, last blow job received, and relative
      level of disdain for vermin.
Domestic terminals do not have this railing at the exit.
As we wait for her to exit customs, our sightline is obstructed by opaque
      sliding doors, the twisting hallway behind it, the small convex mirror
      hung in the corner in which we catch shapes growing larger, into hair
      color, into gait, into age, and finally, as they turn, into kin.
The hours I’ve stood there, behind that railing.
The hours I’ve stood to savor the seconds earlier, seconds more by which
      my eye may reach the disembarking and exclaimed, “She’s here,”
      watched, from shadow to shape to gait, my imagined life come to life
      and approach, briefly, me.
My imagined life crying hot in my ear.
Ink on its fingerpads.
This will be the last I write of it directly, I say each time.
This is a light that lights everything and dimly. 
All my waiting at this railing.
All my writing is this squint.

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