The sign at the border station was erased
like everything human
by the drifting mist.
He held my passport at arm’s length
as if it was a stool sample.
Walter Benjamin? An upward glance.
He pretended to leaf through a folder
and out of consideration for my health
granted me a last night at Hôtel de France.
I closed the door behind me –
it was skewiff and ought to be fixed.
When Walter Benjamin, fleeing from the Nazis, was refused permission
to cross the border into Spain, he took his own life.
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