Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan | They

‘They don’t use toilet paper, that’s why.’ She says
stuffing a spoonful of spiced rice into her
too-entitled mouth.

I want to spit my ancestor’s food into her face.
Here am I
seated at the table, napkin on lap,
how dare she
try to knife-and-fork me
with her savage tongue.

I want to tell the waiter to smash the plate
down over her head.
Tell him in Our language.
Cover her in Our food.

She asks me if Indian food is similar to Pakistani.
I tell her I don’t know.
She is confused.

She pays the bill with her fat white fingers.
Her toilet-paper hands, so pure.
A card transaction
for the culture she can taste,
an over-the-counter experience,
no respect required.

I am the only one of us
who leaves the restaurant but continues to carry all its connotations.

One thought on “Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan | They

  1. Love this! You know it’s actually quite sad how only when you open your eyes to actually see the world through class/race etc (I spent too long looking past colour in the hope that others would do the same when they saw me, the quite, hardworking, brown girl) you see the double-standards regarding cultural appropriation. Thanks for posting this. 🙂


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