Today I Imagine I’m in Belgium

I spent the morning in Belgium on a Chicago street

surrounded by illegal parkers and Pomeranians enjoying

croissants. I was nostalgic for Paris, but had to settle for
American French Roast coffee and pastries thick with

almond paste. The news flashed about people shot to death

in New York, 19 more dead in Chicago, a woman being
released from a Colorado hospital, fully recovered, but
scarred from bullets slicing through her stomach. How nice

to read the news in my native tongue in a foreign country,

the steam from my coffee fogging my glasses. I remembered

being in Turkey the day before, cardamom in my coffee and

experiencing myself covered in silk, eyes rimmed in kohl.

I didn't worry about guns or even suicide bombers, dynamite

warm against their chests and bellies. I only knew that if I let down
my veil, made contact with the strange man eyeing me

from the counter, my life would bend to his will. This is why
I am in Belgium, a peaceful country with a soothing language.

—Kristin LaTour