He has never walked
so far in his life—

from nowhere, an open
expanse no one claims,

to this border
where they demand
papers, and IDs,
and loud explanations.

He is not a person
without them.

He is not a person
anyway—not yet.

The sun shines on
without shadow.

It is almost noon,
he hasn’t eaten
for days
except crackers.

Heat kisses
everything in sight.

Maybe he will be
turned back,
maybe he will sleep

again on dirt,
fearful of wild dogs
and the moon.

Either way this border
is his charm:
he will be human,
or he will not.

Into their hands
he commits his spirit.