There was something I once pursued
Swift-hoofed with amorous gleaming.

The path seemed assured, straight as the eye
Can make it. It stretched
Like a highway leading out of Boston,
Ending around the time
We visited Salem,
On a cloudy, wind-buffeted, drab-as-England day.

We came for the history, after September,
When witch hunts were aplenty,
Only to find Salem’s own confined
To a tacky museum at the edge of town.
The puppets were mechanical,
Reminiscent of our favourite Texan at the podium,
We giggled as they bent, churning out lumps of history.
I wondered whether the display was there when Miller penned
His Crucible. I thought of Monroe then kissed you
(I still kiss you every time I bite
On the kind of apple you liked to munch).

Here is the thing with America:
Its history is a man on a treadmill,
Giving the appearance of moving,
Going somewhere,
Going somewhere fast
Running, through a tunnel of progress,
Away from a dark past.
This image now rings false
Because history as a fawning mirror on the wall,
Is no history at all.
And the road, the real road,
Is potholed, leading to other continents.

Politics and history fill me with weariness now.
When I try to think, I manage little more than an image of you
Standing in the shadow of the house Hawthorne immortalised.
We lived through dark times, you and I,
You came through,
I am caught in that past.

You stood gleaming,
The Red apple caught
In the warmth of your palm;
The sun, tucked behind you,
Out of sight;

Your perfect teeth primed
For the perfect bite.

Hassan Abdulrazzak

If you've any comment on these poems, Hassan Abdulrazzak would be pleased to hear from you.