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Naneh Agha

By Siamak Kiarostami
December 5, 2001
The Iranian


Now that you are here,

I want to examine your ancient brown hands

hold them in my own

and look at the cracks and stains

that your 69 years have given you

I want to examine your eyes and white hair

to see if there lie the origins of my own


how could I have come from you?

Understanding you is overwhelming

this kindness, this attention

I find you too unselfish and too humble

I am unfamiliar with your love

with the emotions of your voice

and with the rituals between

you and your God.


And what of my cigarettes

and Saturday night habits?

My ill-temper and impatience?

The absolute divorce from religion

in my life, my hip hop and

illiteracy of your poets?

That I spend too much money on nothing and

What of my English riddled Farsi, Naneh

and my American girlfriends --

how much of yourself do you see in me?


And now that you are here,

what of this relationship?

absent of apple pies and Americana

absent of care packages

and family gatherings --

What of this relationship

so long defined by absence?

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for the writer Siamak Kiarostami

By Siamak Kiarostami


Life on the fence

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