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Sipping chai at Starbucks
Poem in response to "Sipping lattes in diaspora"

By Korosh Khalili
January 6, 2000
The Iranian

Next to me
At this cafe in Toronto
Are my friends, each different
One Chinese, with a warm smile
One Indian, with infinite patience
One Arab, with a lively persona
We all grew differently, in different places, with different tongues
Here we are sharing life, sipping tea, talking about chai

Emigres we were
Citizens we've become
Citizens of the world
We don't need roots

Roots anchor the body
Roots fix the view
Roots anchor the mind

Learn from the Jews
Diaspora means
To succeed inspite of dispersal
To grow wherever you land

I am Iranian
I belong to the world,
The world belongs to me.
Beauty is beauty, not confined by borders
Friends are friends, not defined by cultures

How myths were shattered by this "uprootedness!!"
How Isfahan was humbled by the majesty of Istanbul
How Persopolis shrank when I saw Egypt
How Kavir cowered in the vastness of the Sahara

I found "Honar" amongst non-Iranians
I found Plato, as did Ibn Sina
I found Kafka, as did Hedayat
I found Life everywhere

Let me tell you about life:
Or Suffer
Don't belong to this or that
Belong to everything
And everything will belong to you

You've seen "Nesfe Jahan"
Open your eyes
Leave your melancholic cocoon
Now see the Other Half.

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