I am an American

You know what that means

But in this Turkish coffee house

In Decatur, Georgia

Women wear the hijab

They sit in a circle

And lean in

Talking and laughing

The owner’s family is here too

With coffee colored babies

Yes I noticed

It makes me


That they can feel at home

And that I am welcome

Because that’s what they sell here

They sell welcome

Maybe I can cross my legs

And be less American

And maybe they wouldn’t judge me

Even the one

With the burka

Would she?



Something to be said for headscarfs

And modest

Maybe they don’t want from men

What men are like

You know what that means

Don’t try to tell me

That American men are not

But the burka bothers me

If only because it reminds me too much

Of myself