day moon the baggage we carry
In a small kingdom in the Persian Gulf, a member of the royal family has just returned from a trip to London. The woman in front of him absent-mindedly places her cat carrier on the conveyor belt going through the X-ray machine, but it’s his bag that brings the conveyor belt to a halt, and he is kindly asked to step aside to have a chat with a security officer.
He may be minor royalty, but these things have to be handled delicately. The security officer walks over and places the small carry-on bag on a table, asking the gentleman, a portly man wearing a grey beard and an immaculate white thobe, to open the bag. The officer reaches in and pulls out a purple penis-shaped vibrator. What is this, he asks. I don’t know, the gentleman answers. The officer stares at him for a moment knowing that his response has to be perfect if no one is to lose face, wasta. How did it get in your bag, he asks. My wife put it there, the gentleman says. The officer quickly returns the vibrator to the bag and zips it up. Have a good day, he says.
afternoon glare squint of eyes through a niqab
lives and teaches in Saudi Arabia. He is a regular contributor to haiku and tanka
journals in the US, Europe, and Australia, and his work has been widely anthologized.
His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous
international journals, including Flash, Rattle, Modern Haiku, KYSO Flash,
SurVision, Haibun Today, and Contemporary Haibun Online (the latter for
which he served as content editor from July 2014 thru January 2020).
His chapbook of haibun, tanka prose, and prose poems, Ethiopian Time (Red Bird
Chapbooks, 2014), was an honorable mention in the Touchstone Book Awards. His chapbook
Conversation Starters in a Language No One Speaks (SurVision Books, 2018) was
a winner of the James Tate Poetry Prize in 2018. He is also the author most recently
of a collection of prose poems, haibun, and senryu, My Thology: Not Always True
But Always Truth (Cyberwit, 2019); and an e-chapbook, What I Say to You