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  You could have a big dipper   

Globalization Genome by Nilofar Shidmehr

I am at the back of the bus;

beside me, an Indian woman,

looks out the window, The Vancouver Sun

on the lap of her sari announces:

Bus crash in Iraq: Six pilgrims killed.

Across the aisle, a Latino girl

does not seem to care about the news;

she is listening to Salsa

on her iPhone.

Neither do others care,

the white man beside the girl,

studying a textbook on genetics,

an aboriginal man, standing over him,

his forehead pressed against the metal bar.

A few minutes later, the headline

still reads the same, when suddenly,

the Chinese driver slams on the brakes,

jerking me back into the present.

Startled, I look around:

we are still alive, although frozen,

for a moment, before the bus

moves forward, and we start again

with our own busy-ness:

one listening to music

one staring out the window

one gazing down

at one studying genetics,

the red spiral of human


in his book,


to Vancouver sun.


NILOFAR SHIDMEHR, PhD, MFA, is a bilingual writer, poet, and educator. She is the author of two collections of short fiction and five books of poetry in English and Persian.

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