Decaf Immigrant by Madiha Arsalan

My name is not Beneatha,
or at least I don’t think it was until
when my coffee cup informed with the imperial authority
of permanent black ink over smooth white cardboard
that my name was,
in fact,

Come to think of it,
I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing my own name on a coffee cup,
mocking me with its ironic green and white,
the familiar colors of a Pakistani flag.
There’s been Anita, Rita, Mida, Deepa,
and my personal favorite,
but never

I am the decaffeinated coffee in my careless cup:
boiling, brown and bitter without the kick,
or an invisible celery stick
sitting next to a mountain
of tantalizing buffalo wings.


Date: 2012

By: Madiha Arsalan (19??- )

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