One more story he said In a restaurant in Amsterdam

a young woman came in
speaking Arabic  I said are you Iraqi
she said I haven’t eaten  for three days
I said what do you mean  she said
I need to turn  turn myself in
this was a strange language to me
a different logic  Come and sit I said
food brought out  she ate  finally
spoke  her husband now in Istanbul
they’d escaped Iraq  he was taxi driver
sold his car paid $5,000 to Turkish driver
to send her  Istanbul to Amsterdam
a big truck  crates of fruit and vegetables
had a tiny space           in the middle  kept her
there  gave her food and water supposed to last
seven days  lasted four  strange language
mouth of the truck  she was stuck
in one position for seven days  could not
move  crates of figs  pallets cracked
blocked  lodged  then they just dropped her
in the middle of Amsterdam right then  she was
hoping waiting  turn myself in  my husband not
far behind  strange language to me  I did not
understand  turn myself in  in the middle
of Amsterdam do you speak    speak

Copyright © 2008 Philip Metres. “One more story   he said  In a restaurant in Amsterdam” originally appeared in To See the Earth (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2008). Used with permission of the author.