SALAH: DULLES AIRPORT


This is about my quiet fascination
with the man hidden behind the check-in desk.
He is bowing toward the wall.
I have to assume east is east.

 

The prayer rug he uses
is longer and has more colors
than my dress. He is oblivious
to how inappropriate I am.

 

He kneels then stands,
then kneels then stands.
His blue and white uniform
becomes the waves of the sea.

 

For less than a second, we lock
eyes. I am amazed by his beauty,
the meticulous calmness with which he hobbles,
one leg shorter than the other—to duty free.