Tourists, or Other People

How would I feel
if 18 small brown tourists
from Vietnam
came to see
how big white people
lived entered
my rent stabilized
apartment watched me
eat a bagel schmeered
with cream cheese I would
offer them some
if they examined
my shoes particularly my
red suede sandals
pink laces if they
saw my Big TV
home to Bob’s Burgers
opened my refrigerator
to examine Paul Newman’s
salad dressing asked me
what I think about war
and duty and governments
and love. I wonder
what I’d want to say.

Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. This reminds me of a trip my OB-GYN husband and I took to China when tourism was just starting there. We went with a group of childbirth educators that included two sexologists, who decided to expand their knowledge of Chinese sex habits by quizzing our two tour guides, married to each other. The young couple were caught between their innate modesty and the instructions they had been given about keeping their charges happy. The more polite they were, the more explicit the questions got, until finally our American tour leader overheard one of the conversations and put his foot down. The sexologists complained about how small-minded he was.

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