I was fixed on the hard angle of his jaw
and the calm in his deep-set eyes as he told me
of his escape from Czechoslovakia,
how they resolved to run and not look back,
better to be shot than captured.
His first meal in America was pizza and Coke
with ice, the drink too cold and the food too hot
so that his teeth ached, unaccustomed as he was
to such extremes after of life of conformity.
After 35 years, he still orders his Coke without ice.