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By Siamak Kiarostami
December 3, 1999
The Iranian

A four-letter word where I grew up
A schizophrenic secret of our past
Khosro Roozbeh who defended and died for
His people and his passion, was my namesake

I come from
Forgotten obscure Iranian youth shot hung and tortured
Who ended up abroad and underground
Underappreciated, exiled, forgotten Communists

Different from liberal manifesto Communists
World liberator, freedom fighting,
Truth bearing and courageous enough to confront the
Lies and complacency
Of the defenders of Democracy and the almighty dollar of
The proud pink faces of the Reagan Army
Who worked and worried for America and loved their country
Who knew less about America than I did
And told us to go back to our own damn country
Who drank Jim Beam and smoked Phillip Morris
Some unsuspectingly confiding in us because we were "hard working and different"
Who took us to the Lutheran and Baptist church to teach US!
Unaware they had their own little hidden Communists
Who left their houses and came to learn from us.

Evil intellectual pariahs who wanted to end the world and make us sad
Young boys and girls smoking pot and reveling in suburban rebellion
Talking Marx and Molotov cocktails with cross-town Communists,
Bad ass Black men with Afros and artists with Che Guevara tattoos
Would have eighties Shakespeare summer barbecues in Francis Park with
Humble and uneducated labor union members and drug-addled hippie Communists

I remember all those childhoos years being there with
All those friends; my extraordinarily warm "what about the Revolution?"

We were an unclear and unlikely family
Forged on a dirty lie trick to take over the world but
All of us "goddamn fucking Communists" just wanted it to be Fair -
Everyone to eat enough and know how to read
To realize that living is not enough but to be unapologetically Alive
So-don't-label-us Communists

That was the closest I ever came to having my community and collective identity
With all those remarkable everyday normal people; faces I love
Who were hidden among professors, cab drivers, in orthodox churches,
And fast food crews
Every color and language and class imaginable --
They were the best and most beautiful
People we met in America.

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