Tangier

There is no salvation in elsewhere;
forget the horizon, the seductive sky.
If nothing’s here, nothing’s there.

I know. Once I escaped to Tangier,
took the same face, the same lie.
There’s no salvation in elsewhere

when elsewhere has empty rooms, mirrors.
Everywhere: the capital I.
If nothing’s here, nothing’s there

unless, of course, your motive’s secure;
not therapy, but joy,
salvation an idea left behind, elsewhere,

like overweight baggage or yesteryear,
The fundamental things apply.
If nothing’s here, nothing’s there—

I brought with me my own imperfect ai.
The streets were noise. The heart dry.
There was no salvation elsewhere.
I came with nothing, found nothing there.

-Stephen Dunn