Friday, November 6, 2015

What's in a Smile?

A silk flower blooms 
in his daughter’s hair,
& his little son has a lovely smile
missing a single tooth.

The man walks with them
into the food court
with triceps as tense
as any necessary conversation.

amongst Indian street food & Islander diners,
Souvlaki sellers & African eaters,
South Americans pinching together empanadas
& Asian waiters,
he is six-foot-four & striding,
tatted arms & a head shaved right down.

One tatt says "ARYAN."
One is a Third Reich eagle.
One says “1488”,
which is code for a phrase:

"We must secure the existence of our people 
and a future for white children.”

“But he looks pretty dark to me,”
says my Samoan mate.

The man buys his kids 
cinnamon twists & cupcakes,
& bends down to kiss his daughter
right where a streak of glitter
sends a constellation across her cheek.

As he passes me & my mate,
the man smiles & nods,
with intimacy & recognition,

as if we are friends.

— Omar Musa, 2015

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