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Winter
2009

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anything but...
for Kazim Ali, after his article
Alan King

Dropping off a box of old
manuscripts at the dumpster,
you were taken for a terrorist
instead of a Professor

when an ROTC brat assumed
your South Asian features
were Middle Eastern before
alerting the bomb squad and

state police, before buildings were
evacuated and classes canceled.
In the days of orange alerts,
any dark body becomes suspect.

I learned that at 12 yrs. old,
wandering through Dress Barn,
looking for my mom somewhere
in the dressing rooms

and remember the shock-white
skin of a cashier reporting a possible
robbery before I was escorted
out by security.

You oughta be ashamed,
scaring those ladies like that,
the guard said, as if i was
anything     but human.