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Lili came and awakened dreams

February 8, 2001
The Iranian

Lili came out of the blue. It burned at first. We hadn't seen each other in years. A single purple star. Memories poured out of the past in broken pieces. Our temples were like parchment. Listening.

Her mother and our father were both Bakhtiari full of soft cheese. The sound of a flute and black-nosed white sheep grazing on the hills of green grass. Turan and Abol Ghasem were a step away from the land. From the yellow mountain and rocks under their feet. Nomads sweet beyond mention under black tents bells long velvet skirts at least seven smoke.

Just moments away when they were beyond the pass wearing a golden stud on their nose in the slavery of opium. Regularity was imposed by opium on the passing hours as they sat in circles around fires, lamps and pipes in an age-old perfection of exquisite poisoning.

Lili came and awakened dreams. She wore a bright yellow scarf tied around her head and wore a long white cotton dress. She had brought me white cheese, tender fresh mint, flat bread and black Persian tea with cardimon. Blue irises were growing on the mountain and white boats sailed on the waters of Annapolis on the Chesapeake Bay.

I baked an apple pie from "Recipes from a Provencal Kitchen". A crisp crust, sliced apples covered with thick cream. Lili wrote in her thank you note "I regret not taking an additional slice of apple pie home to have as a night snack at 10 pm. The crust, the texture of apples, the custard filling were superb."

Our breathing was ragged as if from a race. We spoke in English and Farsi trying to bring together our lives before time ran out, the glass shattered and left on the ground. We walked across the garden to the gate still talking , hiding Easter eggs under the pansies.

We knew the image was fading in little blue and white Annapolis dressed in a gold silk dressing-gown with cigarette holes, stained and burnt by George Washington. I showed her where to turn on 50 West off of Route 2 separated by the songs of Carmen, Tristan and Isolda.

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