En Route to Karachi, Another Crisis of Identity

By Zoya Zia

(after Tarfia Faizullah)

-at Houston Intercontinental Airport

Because I must live

      through customs and baggage

claiming green fabric marked

      by crescent and star

gazing in faded glory

     through timed aviation

lifting to cities

      in yellowing light—

Because I must watch

      his brown eyes

droop, a small smile    

      strained by badge

wearing authority, pacing

      through customs and narrow

minded red and white

      in bluing sky —

Because I must know

      his bordered heartbreak

sighs for a carry-on

      smile at closed doors

opening the overhead

      compartment of cultured

bliss, who I am.