One day my mother forgets to tell me my father is dying.
This never comes as a surprise.
To be born is to leave one body of water for another.
To be a daughter is to warn someone before I go
to apply for a passport, drugstore lighting the face
of a different version of my face. The overnight bus
to another waiting room, requesting the exchange
of this country for one farther-off.
Inside my father’s body there is a ribboning
of canals, clear and dark. One catches fire,
a heavy gray smolder. They keep dumping blue dye
into the water, the only way known to trace a path
through the smoke. I spend hours staring at a map
of my new city, uncertain if it’s true
that I’ve never been here before.