They encapsulate my immigrant body

in a reflecting see-through container.

They shout put your hands up, don’t waste time

strands of shawl caught in purse. Stitched

them back under arm. Stay still, snarled.

Like a silhouette’s whispers. Unheard.


Unassuming lurch forward look around

Consternation seeping onto sinewy collar-bone.

Their eyes present, weary, fed with caution.

I cannot find my shoes.  Bodies shelter fear

In spastic contraction. My flight’s here.


Scuffing metal boots. Naked brown feet.

Wait here. They’re being examined.

They call it protocol.

Racial profiling. Terrorist hunting.

Your shoes can have bombs.


Rusty shoes are now ticking loudly.

Of detonation. Of myth and skin.

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