MARTI FARHA AMMAR
In a third-floor ballroom
from the 1920s I watch a ten-year-old
use hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings
for a basketball court. Hair dripping
he moves from athletics to music,
a steel drum, a palette of sounds.
But his blood runs to America
from the Arab World not the Caribbean.
Dressed in black pants,
white shirt, tasseled loafers,
he waits for his first gig.
Blotches of red appear
on his translucent face.
"I wish my skin were dark
like yours, mom," even though his blood
runs to America from the Arab World.
One thick bar of brow rests
over eyes, irises black.
In the mirror, his straight hair
refuses to hold. He says,
"Mom, why can't I have curly hair
like you or Emaka?"
Emaka's blood runs to America