New Year’s Poem #2

O to be in Tehran at Nowruz
and watch your dark,
seductive eyes
catch sparks from the red flames.
You chase away the mangy jube dogs
sniffing at the gutters
and leap like a doe
through the fires
raging in the streets
your head covered with a black chador,
your son nestled in your arms
gazing in wonder
at the conflagrations.
You give to the flames
your sallow face of winter.
and take from them
the redness of pomegranates
and sweet wine,
of Rumi’s love poems,
of the robes of Haji Firuz
which rustle as his blackened face
bursts into song.

You’ve arranged the apples,
garlic, berries, pudding,
the barley sprouting from the dish
like a cleric’s green beard.
You’ve eaten one decorated egg
for each of your children.
You’ve fed the goldfish
circling in their bowls.
Whatever the new year
may choose to deliver,
you’re ready.

(originally published in Uptheriver)

now ruz

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