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Dual Citizen

Dual Citizen
           Haifa, Israel

The sea is warmest at night
The sea is for soldiers and the old
The soldiers pull American girls into the sea
The night is for girls to find their soldiers

The soldiers find paradise in the central bus station
The central bus station is by the sea
The central bus station is for going home
There is no bus that can bring me home

The buses never arrive on time
The old avoid the buses
The drivers do not wait for the old to find seats
The most dangerous part of the bus is the bus

The bus already moves
The soldiers do not take off their backpacks
The bus poles are for more than steadying
The soldiers’ hands always find their way over mine

The soldier’s hands have lifted me over his head
The soldier in the club does not put me down
The American girls all love to dance like this
The buses take so long to arrive at night

The bus watches its riders
The bloodshot driver watches the road
The American girls are taught who to watch
The most dangerous part of the bus is the bus

The radio on the bus says a bus exploded
The driver takes the coins from my hand
The American girl is nervous because of a brown man
The buses do not explode throughout the week

The American girls return home throughout the week
The soldiers are not seen throughout the week
The empty bus drags the old up the mountain
The view from my window is in darkness


Yael Massen is an MFA Candidate in Poetry at Indiana University and former Nonfiction Editor and Associate Poetry Editor of Indiana Review. Her work is forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Hobart, and The Journal, and can be found within the pages and URLS of Mid-American Review, Southern Indiana Review, Ninth Letter Online, and Day One. She is a recipient of the 2016 Vera Meyer Strube Academy of American Poets Award, the 2016 Kraft-Kinsey Award from the Kinsey Institute, and was a 2015 TENT Fellow in Creative Writing at the Yiddish Book Center. She volunteers as an On-Scene Advocate and a Legal Advocate at Middle Way House, a domestic violence shelter in Bloomington, Indiana, where she lives, works, and walks.