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Persian princess insania

By Leyla Momeny
August 16, 2000
The Iranian

I am america-girl:

britannica irania

persian princess insania

lavash skin, aquiline nose,

my heart emerged as a golden oud,

well-mannered and traveled,

have reached the skirts of Isfahan

arrived alongside my mother

where birthright yellow fish

swim in between my toes,

I was named after baklavah.

born in iran

three years shy of the mighty hijab

my grandmother stole lust-filled glances

inside the emperor's gates.

two decades of shy smiling

have gotten me far--

my feet planted firmly

to waters of ambiguity

tell me you love me

without pomegranate-stained stones.

the men in my family

never learned how to cry

they built cities over their own dreams

engineers of a keener reason

rolex-wristed namesakes holding my hand,

nihilist-hedonist patriarchs taught me to fly!

my chastity, preserved.

twenty-two years


slow and depart

alongside this nile.

a secret spot under my spine

is targeted for assasinations,

shivering, deranged, hairs cocked,

caught in a world

of ancient goddesses,

I am limestone.

unveiled, arms wide,

a raven-haired pit

infected by trees.

I clung to tehrangeles

felt comfortable in leather,

even understood

the chinese, spanish, mexican faces

cemented on the silk roads.

and when the surrealists in my country

rejected the dead,

I watched their sons masterbate

with identity and isolation--

curious and detached,

I summoned a bloated airplane

to carry away their mothers. . .

and I, misplaced among arabs, latinas, I-am-half italians,

no longer believe in us.

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