Olives and Mayonnaise This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 25, 2017
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He steps carefully
The stones are wet with rain
Padding his way up the steps to the office
He enters the atrium, the dry air comforting his agitated brain

The papers weigh heavy in his bag
Carefully planned, painstakingly made
The passport would become a citizenship
Finally, after a decade

He lowers his rain sodden hood
Steps to the counter as the blood from his face drained
The attendant looks up
A pin on his shirt “Make America Great Again”

He knew it was a slim chance
He was here anyway

He was here anyway
He might as well try for the American Dream
The attendant seemed distracted
He was yelling for someone to bring his coffee some whipped cream

It was time to do what he was here to do
“I am here to apply for US Citizenship” he said in a declarative tone
The attendant glared back
“Papers please” he droned

As the mayonnaise glared at the cream
The olive surveyed the mayonnaise
The attendant stared back up at the olive
And the olive gazed back at the mayonnaise

“One moment please”
“Sir please come with me”

“Sir please come with me”
He repeated, and the olive flushed
The attendant and the guard were getting impatient
The olive walked quickly with them, he rushed

“You’re a damn Paki”
“And we don't want you here”
The olive was struck
The state of this state was becoming clear

Two months since that day
And the olive stands in the desert
But his tree won’t grow
And he is sick and hurt

Because his child must walk a mile to school through a minefield
He steps carefully

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