Man Detained by Airport Security

His eyes, dirty-white

vans with blue-barrel bombs inside,

ready to detonate.  That tear

in the corner, by his nose,

must be nitroglycerin,

or some binary explosive

seen in movies, which,

if it should reach the acid

of his mouth, could bring about catastrophe.

Those forty-five caliber

fingers tap the table, as he waits,

but, if he is what he seems,

he has waited a lifetime

for that one true moment

to unleash his semi-automatic

wrath, his fear the trigger

other men finger.

Is that what you see

through your two-way mirror?

While I see the same person

I have always been:

the one who limps, not because he hides

plastic in his shoe, but from breaking

a tibia playing Pop Warner,

the one who, in middle school,

learned to blow up

notes from the end of a saxophone,

high school salutatorian, the one most likely

to do great things, the man

who took his PhD to the third world

to revive the dead,

the man whose grandparents moved

to rural Pennsylvania

straight from the muck

outside Bombay for fuck sake.

The most toxic things

he has ever touched are curry

and the heart of a woman.

Why can't you see him

sitting here, two hours in this room?

When all he's been trying to do

is get back home, this place

he has always loved without ever

wondering why before today.

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