When Did You Become An American?
In 2004,

when the Red Sox won the world championship
and elated I jumped into the air
with my son in front of our TV
without understanding exactly
why the whole stadium roared
after one of our players
threw the ball gently to another
and I said:
High time to learn
the rules of this silly game;

when I woke up
after my surgery in Mass General
and asked my wife
about the election’s results
before even finding out  
the outcome of the operation
and I said:
O well, just another four years
—  still under the influence of 
the sweet pain-killers;
















when I got stuck in traffic on I-95,
while I was listening to a news report on NPR
about the Bartholdi Museum
in Colmar, France
dedicated to the creator 
of  the Statue of Liberty
and an Italian tourist visiting the site,
in the most melodic tone said:
Libertà  che illumina il mondo, ha!
Invaders, torturers, empire builders...
You are a country of darkness now;
you don’t even deserve
the discolored copper of this beauty
— first it sounded like yet another 
European highbrow haughtiness,
then I felt a dagger penetrating my belly.