I hear this dialect
With its silent “J”
It is Wednesday’s market
Near Santa Monica beach
With the scent of Persian basil
Chinese sugar peas
and Mexican jalapenos.
A woman smiles at me
Behind the jars of honey.
Flowers have covered her muumuu
And “B”‘s are buzzing in her words.
I walk over the bridge
Looking at the cars below,
Passing, oblivious to me.
I know, on Freeways
All signs are written in English.
But my sorrow knows only Persian.
March 30, 1993
Subscribe to The Iranian newsletter
Sign up for our daily newsletter to get the top news stories delivered to your inbox.