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Working in the world

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Wandering crowded streets
in a city I should know by now but don’t,
lost again. The only maps I find are wrinkled, outdated,
and written in a language I don’t speak.
There are guidebooks to study,
but they describe the contents of obscure museums
dedicated to collections from odd sciences.

I don’t understand, is a whisper
that builds to a whine just below panic
and goes on and on in my head.

How many other tourists on this street,
studying their clutched maps with such concentration
are frowning because it’s so hard to read
when the same words keep stuttering in their heads?

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