Open your eyes, O beloved homeland, and behold
your son, Sancho Panza, returning to you. If
he does not come back very rich, he comes
well flogged. Open your arms and receive also
your other son, Don Quixote, who returns vanquished
by the arm of another but a victor over himself
and this, so I have been told, is the
greatest victory that could be desired.

— Cervantes


And so I went forth, exhilarated
in uniform: worn-through jeans, muscle tees,
stripped of bras and ancestral history.
Since I had nothing real to take along,

I took along a fig-shaped stone,
a bag of gold buds, a resin-stained bong,
hash oil, in which papers were coated,
and two tabs of four-way blotter acid;

lactose-laced cocaine, cut to average,
a fifth of scotch, which was a parting gift,
a poncho, a guitar, feminist sheet music
and Court and Spark, which I’d tape-recorded.

With all this I’d find someone of my own.
An ill-equipped bride-to-be, I left home.


The old man waves to me through iron bars
on his window, and I wave back at him.
Ten years back, at a spring semester end,
I went to Greece with three other women.

Joanne, whom I called Joey, my lover then,
was the only woman I knew who’d speak
the word proudly. She worked and was older
and didn’t do drugs like I did, or bars.

She even looked what I thought was the part:
hair close-cropped, the top in a boyish mop.
We met in a club called The Other Side,
then fell in side by side later that night

on a futon with psychedelic sheets
that lav in an attic under beamed eaves.


An ill-equipped bride-to-be, I left home.
The coke I’d flown with in my underwear
had melted into a yellowish loam.
Cheryl, who’d once caused a fire somewhere

drying her wet shirt in a microwave,
suggested that we lay the gluey high
on the warm radiator to try to save
what stash we could, and I agreed to try.

Moments later, the flakes began to fly
down to the floor like mocking stalactites.
My new roommate looked on, removed, dry-eyed.
She was a grad architecture student

with prefab plans for life in blueprints.
I befriended Mike with the good hash pipe.