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Pilgrimage from America to Iran

By Roger Sedarat
February 28, 2002
The Iranian

Your heart is a sour cherry in rice;

steam surrounds you, moist white

like a cumulus cloud

hiding a jagged pinnacle. A spot

of sun comes bitter on the eyes;

I am having lunch in a village

with my grandfather; my squinting

cuts the Zargos to a strip the size

of a blade of saffron. All the while

the thought of you back in Texas

sticks to me here, as I bite

into tadeq, the front of my head

smarting from seeing you in your red

dress, without a chador, kissing me

goodbye. More than puckered lips,

I miss the twisted strands of your hair,

the way you'd stand over me in bed

like an Iranian Rupunzel before leaving

for work. Woman of my two countries,

I could whirl on one perfumed spiral

up this mountain like a dervish, my head

pounding with Zarathustrian thunder,

your tears dancing on my sunburned face

like lines of Khyaam read on a train.

With you here heat and bearded soldiers

are no longer oppressive. Near the apex

I open my eyes and am surrounded,

like a pilgrim, by untouched snow.

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Fly to Iran
By Roger Sedarat

Persian Haiku


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