Ramadan in Dunkin Donuts

Monday, December 12, 2016 - 11:29 am

Ramadan in Dunkin Donuts

From his asking about the time
 and double-checking his watch,
 I understood:
 he was about to break his fast.
 Selamün Aleyküm, I said,
 the only Arabic I knew
 for all practical purposes.
 Aleyküm Selam, he replied.
 He was setting his table:
 two donuts, one Chocolate Glazed,
 the other Boston Kreme
 and a thick lentil soup
 he had apparently brought
 from the grocery store
 across the street.
 Do you want to sit down
 and share?
 I thanked him, no.
 Aren't you fasting?
 I explained:
 my high blood pressure,
 my medication.
 He pointed to one of the donuts:
 Still, he said, let's share.
 The collapsing Twin Towers,
 the beheaded hostages,
 and the jumpy look on people's faces
 hearing my name.
 We already do, I said.

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is a poet. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is an active Muslim member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation.

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