At the border between the past and the future
No sign on a post warns that your passport
Won’t let you return to your native land
As a citizen, just as a tourist
Who won’t be allowed to fraternize with the locals.

No guard steps out of a booth to explain
You can’t bring gifts back, however modest,
Can’t even pass a note to a few friends
That suggests what worries of theirs are misguided,
What expectations too ambitious.

Are you sure you’re ready to leave,
To cross the bridge that begins
Under a clear sky and ends in fog?
But look, you’ve started across already
And it’s one lane wide, with no room for U-turns.

No time even to pause as drivers behind you
Lean on their horns, those who’ve convinced themselves
Their home awaits them on the other side.