You should give me money to travel to Norway.
Because I dream of it every day and I am too poor

to go without your funding. All the Duolingo, YouTube,
Tiktok, Facebook, Netflix, and Google images will not show me

what it feels like to stand beside the Jørgenrud farm,
to see the dead family tombstones, to feel my ears full

of the Norwegian language, the Norwegian birds,
the Norwegian car horns and dogs. The internet cannot sit me

in a cousin’s living room, or fill my lungs with the air
inside a stave church that literal centuries of people have prayed in.

The midnight sun on my hands, waterfall spray on my shoulders,
eyes full of my children on a Bergen sidewalk, mouth full of lefse,

quiet sex with my love in a mountain cabin, a parade on May 17
clamoring all my senses at once. Assimilation as Americans leaves me

no bunad, no fiskesuppe, no Ibsen, no rosemåling, no bestefar
telling stories about waist-deep snow.  Dear grant review committee,

can’t you see I need to squint my eyes beside a train track over there,
waiting? If you pay for me to write poems on that land for a book

that may or may not get published, then I can pay for my family to go.
Can’t you see I need them to touch the dirt too, for small stones

to come home in the children’s luggage which will sit decades
on a bookshelf? Can’t you see I need to hear my love’s familiar laugh

on an Oslo bus? I will get a letter of affiliation, calculate the itinerary costs,
justify every scrap of it, then dutifully write it– mostly for me and us,

but I’ll tag you in the acknowledgements. Please, at the risk of sounding desperate,
let me experience what it feels like to take my name home after a century gone.