It is an open-air situation room.
Inside the situation room
ideology becomes destiny.
For example, the struggle
against communism. Footage
shot from hotel windows
and smuggled out in tea boxes;
footage moored in the grainy,
seatless vastness of that place.
I, the turret, the tourist, the contaminant,
fall hard for its phantasmagoria
and show my teeth for the camera
in the there where a man carried
groceries into the hatch of a tank.
When I can’t feel the place,
I search my bag for gum,
tampons, antibacterial gel,
Kleenex, a photocopy of my passport,
a card explaining accidental
death and dismemberment coverage.
In the event of the loss
of both eyes, 100 %.
When I can’t feel the place
I am not that desperate
to understand it. The body
in pain. The body’s body;
a difficult birth. Illegal crossings,
electric fences, boots bruising
the asphalt. And the camera’s
aerial, impartial imposition,
as in a singular time zone.
Night somewhere where
night doesn’t belong.
Kara Candito’s first book, Taste of Cherry, won Prairie Schooner Book Prize (University of Nebraska Press, September 2009). Her poems have appeared in AGNI, The Kenyon Review, Indiana Review, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She lives in Madison, WI, where she co-curates the Monsters of Poetry Reading Series (www.karacandito.com).