Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Wiping the tears from my face
I rolled my carry-on suitcase
into line
glancing back one last time

my parents blew kisses in the distance
I waved back
my heart, terrified
leaving the sanctuary of my home
for the first time
to travel to a foreign land

and as if emotions weren’t running high enough
I was “randomly selected” for additional screening
yet again

I stepped aside as a female officer
took her hands
and ran them along my caramel body
as if I had consented to the humiliation
as if I had a choice

her touch was aggressive
as she patted me down
I looked into her pale face and wondered
if my brown face had set off alarms inside her head
as if the color of my skin meant
that there were explosives hidden in my jeans
or the college sweatshirt I wore

I wanted to tell her
that the weapons of mass destruction
were inside of her mind
and they were destroying my people
with their explosions of ignorance

I wanted to tell her that
I did not consent to be profiled
and neither did the 5-year-old child
that I saw her pull over and search
because her father was wearing a turban

I wanted to tell her that the way she looked at me
was dangerous
because I was sure that not every actual threat
was hiding behind brown skin

I wanted to tell her that though my body felt violated
it was my soul that felt more violated

But she was in a position of power
and I had to catch my flight
so I silenced the rage that boiled inside of me
and let myself become another hushed victim

of a security checkpoint

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