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What I Want Most Of All

Luisa A. Igloria

A friend once told me, you know those ads
for missing persons that you get in the mail,
or printed on the sides of milk cartons? I bet
not all of those people go missing by accident.

I bet some of them park their cars
as usual in the garage, bring in the paper
and the groceries, telephone the doctor
to confirm the appointment for the youngest

child’s next visit, check the window
in the hallway, the one that always sticks
and lets in rain water that collects in a puddle
on the carpet— Then they leave

their car keys on the counter, take
just a few things: perhaps a knapsack,
one change of clothes, a water bottle; walk
out the door, down to the bus stop, ride

away across the state line and keep going
without looking back. The hands of the clock
are moving now. At fast food places,
people are queuing up for lunch. They punch

their time cards at the end of the day,
a few hours after school buses file in a yellow line
to distribute children across the city blocks. Later,
pictures will flash on the late night news. Much,

much later, even decades later, who would think
anything extraordinary of the dark-haired woman
in a faded raincoat and canvas sneakers,
backpacking for the first time across Europe.

Luisa A. Igloria

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