The stranger lounging in the window seat
orders the same as me, but does not eat.
Is he an ally to protect, a threat
to liquidate? No way of telling yet.
Objectives form in time on their own terms.
A signal from my watcher’s eye affirms
the code, a coin dropped on the busy street
IDs the target; I remain discreet—
look at the girl ahead of me in line,
the guy who stole the barstool next to mine,
or the grave matron with her brooding son
who asks me for the time—is she the one?
I ease across the border with my skill
to camouflage, impersonate, or kill.
To a man like myself obeying orders
from pole to pole, the world is full of borders.
Editor’s Note: The delightful irony of this poem’s closing emphasizes the rules of our lives. When does the next Bond movie come out?