Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Not Her

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Not Her

Article excerpt

I don't see the days. -Abdullah, age 9

The watch helps me remember our history. -Ahmed, age 17


It feels wrong to sit in the waiting area of my hair salon

reading an article about Syrian refugees at the same time

a woman in foils goes on about why it's condescending

for a waiter to address a woman old enough to cover her roots

as dear or sweetie. Wrong too that their words,

paired alongside pictures of items they carried,

rest on a retro coffee table. And if the words are the why

then isn't it equally wrong that the flat screen in the corner

is chattering about a drunk woman who broke into Omaha's

Henry Doorly Zoo to pet the poor three-legged Malaysian tiger?

It's dangerous to be adrift in a sea of tigers. When the bigger ship

rammed the crowded dinghy it capsized. A refugee named Omar

couldn't find his wife or children in the chop. All he could find

were plastic water bottles which allowed him to float

the rest of the way. Tell me, how is it okay for a colorist to be mixing

my personalized formula, as noted on a 3 x 5 index card

with my name on it, at the same time I'm reading this? …

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