Once the border guard looks at my passport
By Afsaneh Bahrami
September 22, 2003
I may have been born fifty or sixty years too late. After SARS,
Toronto knows what it means to suffer bad press. For the last
six thousand years, women have also suffered bad press. If
you don't believe me, check the bible, starting from page 2.
ago, traveling across the border into the United States would
have been something different altogether.
At the border,
the guard checks my passport; under Country of Birth he reads
Persia. He gives me the once over before pressing a little
button hidden beneath his desk. Immediately, a small trap door
slides open and a red carpet designed to cushion my footsteps,
unfurls before me. He smiles and waves me through the metal
detector. On the other side, a bevy of laughing guards in straw
skirts shower me with sweets and bonbons. It could have happened.
As it stands,
I'm suspect by birth. Once the border guard looks at my passport
and reads Country of Birth: Islamic Republic of Iran. The situation
officer, don't stamp my passport. I'm innocent. No not my passport
photo. I love that picture of me! I was gonna blow it up! Oops!
I mean enlarge. I was going to enlarge the photograph.
you mention it. I do see a striking resemblance.
What a rip.
Born fifty years too late. I've had enough! Officer give me
back my passport. I have to correct something.
identity, I can change it if I want to!
Give me my
passport. You want proof of my nationality? Check this out.
It's a map. See that little dot, that's where I was born. Read
the name going across that whole area. Sumeria, that's right.
I'm from Sumeria. I don't give a crap about the date. I'm Sumerian.
Let me pass.
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