I could mistake the story for city, as I learned the city by its text.
When the knife cut through his cheek, he knew it was time to leave
the story he had grown up in, a city he had known by heart.

When in Seattle, I learned his heart by story. 
When his father finally gave, he knew to leave
and how to go about burying. I go about learning the story

like a tourist learns a city that is known for its ruin. When in Rome.
I visit the what’s-left of half murals and sculpture gardens 
for the afternoon, and a distant relative who says I have the family’s eyes. 

When it comes to faces, we can’t seem to leave any behind. 
I go about the city like a story I cannot help but learn by heart.
One street unweaves into a square; one mistake taken from text—

both carried by bloodline and whoever carried the eyes, 
went about the unburying. When in Brooklyn, I go about the city,
half the size of what I heard it would be. 

Story says he brought the West back East, buried his story
along his father throughout the cities it took to get from there to here,
the highway unrolling like parchment that knew better— 

never Brooklyn, never Seattle, dislocated heirloom left to barter.