The children decide
their own teams—
Arabs versus non-Arabs.

Filipino boys joined
with Pakistani, Indian,
a lone American against

their Arab classmates
from nine different countries.
Some days it’s about faith:

“Who’s Christian?”

“Who Muslim?”

“Who will the Hindus join?”

—The Future International School, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

RANDY GONZALES is a poet who was born and raised in New Orleans, but has spent most his adult life residing in places like Fukui, Yongin, Abu Dhabi, Pohang, Calamba, Alabang, and Al Ain. His writing touches the intersections of culture/place/identity/human relationships.

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