Poetry

Poem: If You Identify As

By: Christiane Demack

Immigration

“White, please tick this box,
And welcome back –
To the United States.”
Identification encompassing
All the glowing clouds
The airplane coffee spills
Encompassing the sand setting
Desert silent, the children
Fingers darting through the
Flame playful, broken Italian
In the Bedouin tent;
Identifying the olive grove,
At dawn, lost on the earthy
Trail to Siena, of Naples
Echoing Africa and Arabia
The muezzin wandering Marrakech
Roofs, mint tea all but whispering
France, Identification encompassing
Chueca, and all the men
Eyeing each other and not
Harassing me; Line four on
The green metro up from
Sol, beating heart
Of Spain’s capital, Renfe
Train ride and steaming
Ferry away from the green
Sprout forcing itself skywards
Through grey Roman cobblestones,
Encompassing all the translations,
Embraces, misunderstandings, kisses
In the haunted Oxford Gothic
Strong bow cider; love moonlit
At 5 am time difference,
Lahore seen through a dying phone;
Identification encompassing
All the Swabia – talking slopes,
Stretching the back of my grandmother’s
Cat; Japanese origami sold at
Day-lit midnight in Reykjavik,
Iceland – Mid-Atlantic Crack –
“Welcome back to the United States.
If you identify as white,
Please tick this box.”

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