startled by the suddenness of epiphany
the pop of a muffler in a damp alley
or a gunshot

listening from an open barroom window
in what is now-called British Columbia
I’m an American in Canada
and embarrassed to be here

my journey has just begun
and I’m fighting my own Fraser Canyon War
shooting at myself again
or just people who look like me
and drinking

I’m broke and cold
and cursed
cursed with a sense of history
remembering that only 2 or 3
of the American irregulars
who marched this way
survived their own friendly fire

after paranoia, a faulty rifle,
and out-of-work miners
went off beside the Fraser
all those years ago

right now
there’s a baseball game on TV
reminding me I’m a double exile here
America’s favorite pastime in Canada

Cleveland is down to New York
8-1 in the bottom of the ninth
the game ends
the commentator says
in his neutrally cool voice
“the Indians lose to the Yankees
all over again”

I hate the Yankees and
the beer no longer feels good
but I have another anyway

it’s too late to go home

(June ’14)