“Corrupted Sonnet 3” by Stan Sanvel Rubin

 In this world, geography is destiny.
 Einmal, Rilke’s favorite word. Once. 
 Once we drank of sacred waters.
 Marilao, Yamuna, Ganges, Citarum.
 The list of diseases reads like a poem.
 Cholera, schistosomiasis, giardia, salmonella…
 You were born to a mother you must forgive
 The darkest place you can travel
 is where you’ve already been,
 wine-drinker, lover of silence,
 you who breathe yourself into all spaces
 and find yourself in any darkness.
 Did you forget who is your brother,
 who is your sister, swept with sorrow? 

Stan Sanvel Rubin has published four full length collections including There Here (Lost Horse Press) and Hidden Sequel (Barrow Street Poetry Book Prize) and had work in magazines such as Agni, Poetry Northwest, One and others. He lives on the northern Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.