Sometimes it’s easy to know when you aren’t wanted.
What gives that away might not be specific words said.
The giveaway might instead be the arrangement of words, the justification of exclusive policies, or the perpetuation of vague criteria like “company fit” that keep the same old kinds of people in and the same old kinds of people out.
A poem by Marwa H. Helal illustrates this in the most arresting way.
Appropriately, it’s titled “Poem to be read from right to left.”
‘poem to be read from right to left’ is written in a form created by the poet called The Arabic.
The Arabic is a form that includes an Arabic letter with an Arabic footnote, and an Arabic numeral, preferably written right to left as the Arabic language is, and vehemently rejects you if you try to read it left to right. To vehemently reject, in this case, means to transfer the feeling of every time the poet has heard an English as Only Language speaker patronizingly utter in some variation the following phrase: ‘Oh, [so-and-so] is English as a Second Language…’ As if it was a kind of weakness, nah.” —Marwa H. Helal
The Winter Tangerine site includes the poem’s text and audio. Enjoy.
Via Kaveh Akbar.