I remember when seagulls
blasted through the ceiling in search of video cameras.
And when the war ended you tipped your helmet
in farewell and forfeited a golden ribbon.
The eleventh signer of the Treaty of Grenada
had a spectacular smile.
It was 1918 and dust was forming in our ears.
I remember when eighteen soldiers carried backpacks
up shaky mountains. A second republic was declared in the Maldives:
Henry IV carved his name in all the pews in England.
You signed for the Mayflower then pinned the constitution to my lapel.
I remember when we ate macaroons
under the dying light of the computer screen. The Midwest
was still brand new. You continued to serve eggplant
while Warren G. Harding played the bugle.
You said: "It was cold
in the Ukraine
when my grandmother was born."
I agreed and we feasted in Flanders
because St. Martin cut his cloak in two.
--- Alina Gregorian