It's his first trip to China ... he's fifteen
and only his second day crossing the border from Hong Kong to Shenzhen.
He's excited and terrified.
Under his baggy clothes are garments resembling pajamas,
only with pockets covering them.
These pockets are full of bibles,
and taped closely to his body.
It's hot, and he's sweating like a long-tailed cat
in a room full of rocking chairs.
He's alone, as they can't risk getting caught together.
He crosses the bridge and enters the custom's building.
The crowds are suffocating,
and over an hour passes before he reaches an agent.
He hands over his passport.
The agent looks at it ... looks at the boy ... and back at the passport again.
On the inside, he's freaking out.
On the outside he cool and collected ... he hopes.
The agent stamps it and hands it back ... the boy turns to the scanners
His heart sinks and hits his throat at the same time.
The Dragon Lady is talking to his father, who he didn't see only a line or two over ...
a rookie mistake
He watches as his father is sent to the, "back room"
It's too late for him to turn back,
or even ditch the camera bag full of books he also carries
He had been over-confident in thinking he could sneak it past ... cocky
The Dragon Lady doesn't say a word as he walks up.
She only looks at him sternly and holds out her hand.
He gives her his passport without question
and goes to the other, "back room"