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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 4, December 2016

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Jennifer Thiermann
Glenview, Illinois, USA


Choose Your Color

I ask the moon-faced woman painting my nails what language she's speaking to the other manicurists.

Breaking out in a grin, she says, "Mongolian. We are all Mongolians here."

A romantic image of nomads, small horses, yurts and vast spaces leaps to mind.

I look around the nail parlor and sure enough, a half dozen women, assiduously washing feet and buffing nails, have a resemblance beyond their bright orange smocks to the nomads I've seen in magazines and films.

I ask why she had come to Chicago. An even wider grin accompanies her answer.

"Oh you know why, why everybody comes. The American Dream."

new passport
the immigration officer
takes a second look

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