Boiling Point

This poem is part of the “Poetic Journey” series. Check out the video!

“Boiling Point”

Nothing quite tickles the nose,
___like a melting pot of curry
It is a chameleon for a dish
Changing skin to reflect
The tomato tango of Pakistan
The coconut craze of Thailand,
The beauty of curry is the beauty of America
Served in many different flavors
But you’ll always taste the spice of life dancing on your taste buds
There are –

Exceptions.
I have seen people make sour faces at the stench of foreign ingredients,
I know some breathe fire when the tips of their tongues touch peppers
I melt in the smoke of their whispers every time I search for a seat on an airplane
I drown.
In their salty sweat when they lay eyes on me praying,

I am not afraid to pray in public,
This forehead has touched ground in
Populous airports and backwoods gas stations
On the streets of Chicago and the sands of the Canyon
I am not afraid –

To pray in public,
But when yesterday’s blood blurs the peripherals of today,
I find myself a mouse among cats
Scurrying to the most secret of crevices
Lest those lions smell the aroma of my angelic moments with God and
Swallow me whole like a Diablo pepper they dare not chew
Thinking they’ve rid the world of the bubonic plague,
But I am not a rat
I am a mouse among cats

We fear more than we are feared
This is not an exaggeration when
Hijabs gather dust in drawers and
Shaving cuts are the manifested wounds of a tattered heart
The warm welcome of a melting pot of curry has failed to subdue the tongue of hatred
We’ve been pushed to the edge of the cliff
And I see before me a broken bridge
The hyphen between Muslim –
American,

Two worlds that could compose a galaxy filled with the brightest stars,
If given the chance.

Instead,
The melting pot reaches a boiling point
Tempers steam to a heat capable of producing explosive supernovas
Our bodies collapse under the weight of violence
Leaving behind nothing but black holes where
The light of peace is lost,
In a six-foot pit of darkness
I am –

Afraid,
That the melting pot has overstayed its cooking time on the western stove,
I am afraid the smoke alarms have sounded
I am afraid we have stirred the pot with our bare fingers to the torment of third-degree burns
I hope.
That love streams from our lips like fresh water to soothe the blisters of bigotry;
I hope we return to our seats at the table of brotherhood so we may feast like Kings,
You’ll find the spice of life thrives,
___in a melting pot of curry

November 16, 2016
-Bilal Moon

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