“Welcome home!” the immigration officer said.

He had a Brooklyn accent,

it sounded strange like an exotic bird

freed from its cage in the winter.

A short-sleeved white shirt fit

tightly around his fat arms and freckles

winked across his nose.

He held my passport as a paper weight,

his wrist straining from those countries.

Rolling r’s and throaty g’s escaped from inky visas

that hid beneath his fingernails.

a yellow brick house with ivy walls,

a building of thirty floors,

a white washed bungalow that smelled of jasmine,

gathered in his young hands. I said,

 “which one?”

– Lesley Lababidi

(all rights reserved, copyright, 1998) To copy or re-produce photography and/or writings, written permission from Lesley Lababidi is required.

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