The immigrant drafts a cover letter
BY BERNARD FERGUSON
i want to prove the island’s ghetto a good birth site for new Americans. i have prepared in all ways available. a grandmother’s last wish before she became an eternal song. i have a line of treasures that bloom in place of my feet. each one rotting in the salt. you said i could call you kin. i am merely here to collect. everything i own is waiting in the car. its engine still warm. i am at your window, America. a wealth of your songs spilling from my tongue. tell me which is your favorite. tell me which star unfolds most brilliant tonight & i will pluck it for you by morning. your ravenous hands demand an offering & i want to afford this life as advertised. a house & a green green garden. unkillable wonderland. children with my eyes & your verse swelling in their mouths. i have catalogued each fruit of my labor & placed them here for you. i am most desperate in this way & every way i spend my time. all midnight & after. both silly boy & ravenous child. i have walked toward the dusk & nothing has offered to hold me. this is how i invented new ways to build a city. i do what i must to ward off your winter. i do what i must to be seen. i do what i must to become spectacular again.