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Non resident Alien

By Yeabfikir Ayele (YEAB) '25

March 25, 2024

I interviewed myself last night in front of

the mirror on the wall judging my fairness, my permutations of

practiced smiles deeper scowls and

disappointments. I asked myself the

questions they would ask me why I believe what

I believe the tonal waves I should

avoid the quakes, tremors, and thunders in my

name that they have


Imagined a headline “third world kid in need of

a first class flight!!!!!!” soft letters, punch you in the guts, no


Africa is a state of mind that keeps you sane when you find out your jerry can with a

split in the middle that your mother has mended with molten plastic is

made of plastic that the fumes from the melting pot murdered your

neighbor who screamed in your

general direction when someone broke her

flower pot even though there was nothing but

ashes in the clay and the seeds from the dried tomatoes have long been depleted of

any memory of

fertile soil or a

quiet womb.

them F-1 visas really be ripping us off

God, the tower of babel is now the air traffic control tower

lost in an airport lost in a revolving door and an evolving list of confusions. 

alien is now a noun I’m attached to 

like an adjective, 

like I left my mother, father, sister, and brother

and aCcent and scent and sight and skin

with You a foreigner is a delightful description 

of the temporary 

state bartering livelihoods with papers

a marriage with suspicion 

a child with a shipping address.

Illustration by Melanie Kim '23


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