The Promised Land

They disassembled the bed, emptied drawers, and left what they found
no longer necessary or too heavy, or held a memory
they’d rather not carry: the small deaths, for example, buried in the yard.
Driving away, they didn’t stop to look, not once, at the city, which
always stood, blinking in the night. Tired after all these years
and hungry for what they couldn’t name, they passed the neighbors’ houses,
glancing at each other, now, with new tenderness. Gone was the barn
with its rotting roof. Gone the broken lock. Gone the overgrowth,
the rusted carport, the little ways one person can diminish another.
They’d been warned of earthquakes and traffic, but wouldn’t the light
be different there? In the picture, the bedroom blinds hung lopsided,
and a tree stood in the window. There were oranges
among the leaves, some of them bright and large and ready to eat.