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to be an expat

How can I even begin to explain the experiences of an expat?  The great assumption is that East and West are terribly different. One is vilified, the other painted as a land of patriots and heroes. One is crude and filthy the other has streets paved with gold. Look up and you will see miracles of architecture. Beyond the windows there are supposed to be good people, open smiles and warm hearts. How can I tell you that none of this is true? How can I untie my shoes, and somehow put them on your feet three thousand miles away? You would never believe what secrets they have to tell.

Every time I go back to the states I become more embarrassed to be an American. I overhear conversations in the street, the whines of privileged and moneyed voices. Coddled, dumbed-down and mislead they are drunk on a calculated fairly tale. And then back in Moscow, the same ignorance - the same questions from curious taxi drivers about how good it must be in America, where everything is possible and life mu…

black on black

I cannot say very much
about the black on black
the bloody days and
nights
the tense moments making life
count while I wait
for the police to come
but they never do
just a trick to
scare me
but I am not scared.
I will spend my last moments of
freedom with that
little girl who eats peanut butter
with a spoon right
from the jar
every time the police are
supposed to
bust in.

I will walk in the cold air
and buy
raisin pastries
for her, every morning
no matter what.
I am her father, no matter
where I sleep.

I will listen to Beatles songs
and think the
black on black
cannot be more
dark
than this.
That the snow did come quickly
and yes, we made miniature
snowmen and
snow women together before
she got cold and we went inside
for soup and
cartoons.


Comments

brenda said…
For what it's worth, I'm right there with you, M. Try and write your way out of the dark. It helps. I swear, it does...

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