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On Immigration

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After being humiliated one continues the manuscript of identity.
Activities, diseases, doldrums, the crony affair after the situation,
the one where one faces how one is the undertaste,
how one isn't the neighbor, the piebaker, a white folk. How one isn't a gorgeous
dream wrapped up in tireless affection, primped for wider screens.
So there one grew, in the coffee sickness, the dictionary browsing
in a fury for the word entitlement to spill—

After convulsing with rage, one continues in the aftermath
of no friends on Tuesdays or shouting fiercely when nothing sobered
to the eleventh hour and the tide shrunk to its sense of privacy where it
had nothing to do with shores or moons, and humiliation sat on its lover's
knee, greeting the eccentric rich and the hourglass with such force
the rage enameled like fine paint to a sheen of deep blue.
Restless in the way that stirs the crowd to its feet to claim the encounter
for the intentions of personal gain without the empire, without the
embarrassment of shaking one's head, of resting it underneath the ground, to live sanctioned in the migrancy with an ugly plate for the economy but working ever
so hard. So unplanned, so beyond what one did before the lack of dignity sang an opera. And organized all the ideas, before rage shot a bird that had once watched effortlessly all the comings and goings.

Prageeta Sharma, "On Immigration" from Infamous Landscapes. Copyright © 2007 by Prageeta Sharma.  Reprinted by permission of Prageeta Sharma.
Source: Infamous Landscapes (Fence Books, 2007)
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On Immigration

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