To My Translator

Even during the three-week synecdoche
I spent standing, so barely sleeping, on the boat,
Vertical, or at an angle, like a stylus,
A slow mover among the characters
Tattooed on bulkheads and gangways,
Even before I stepped onto the pier,
More dropping than setting down my suitcase,
And regretting—a little—the enormity
Of my index, all those blood-black letters,
The twenty-six wounds, the never-healing
Punctuation marks and diacriticals,
I had already imagined my rescuer,
I had already imagined my arrival,
Your hand or someone else’s taking mine
Here, in the land of my speechlessness.