From Emails From Scheherazad

mohja kahf

“Hijab Scene # 7”

No, I’m not bald under the scarf
No, I’m not from that country
where women can’t drive cars
No, I would not like to defect
I’m already American
But thank you for offering
What else do you need to know
relevant to my buying insurance,
opening a bank account,
reserving a seat on a flight?
Yes, I speak English
Yes, I carry explosives
They’re called words
And if you don’t get up
Off your assumptions
They’re going to blow you away 

“Hijab Scene # 2”

“You people have such restrictive dress for women,”

she said, hobbling away in three inch heels and panty hose

to finish out another pink-collar temp pool day.

“Hijab Scene # 1”

“You dress strange,” said a tenth-grade boy with bright blue hair

to the new Muslim girl with the headscard in homeroom,

his tongue-rings clicking on the “tr” in “strange”.