Of Cold Places

I used to keep a list of foreign prisons:
Lubyanka in Moscow, Portolova in Spain
California’s Terminal Island,
exotic names of cold places.

I thought: one day I’ll make a poem
listing all the names
and conjure from their histories
hard memories of humans among stone.

I’m older now, the lists grow
the edges of papers curl up, turn brown.
The names still cry out
without voice
without ear to hear them
and I can’t remember what it was
I was supposed to do
except live nearer the fire.