I don’t ask

if she had the baby
or had an abortion
or knew the father
or brought him back
with her, the girl
who told me she
was an exchange student
in Ori Michigan last year
saying I was there two weeks
then got pregnant
and was sent home

in a perfect Midwestern
monotone, adding that she
still has contact
with her host mother
who is coming to Norway
to visit her at Christmas
and I wonder at the ties
the halfhitched over and
underhanded nontrivial
trefoil knots that can be
wound and pulled taut
to bind and choke
in no more time than
it takes a plane to land
and jetlag to wane
in a flat-roofed small town
on the brink of nowhere

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