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Sehaty Foreign Exchange

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By Leila Farjami
February 9, 2001
The Iranian

Pardon me,

if I am too shallow

I have NOT been taught

when to speak

when to see

when to listen.


Pardon me if I am too shallow

my ancestral teapot has thousand-year old stains

my heart, thousand-layered ventricles pumping

galaxy of cells; stars

and my drinking water

is still soiled

by the maggots of the Dead Sea.

Pardon my eyes,


by the smudged blackness of an archaic antimony

masquerading the concave crescent

of Harem maidens' lids.


Pardon me,

if I am too shallow

my jug is not too deep

brimmed with parched pebbles

yet aversive to your artificial water,

v Pardon my feet, too

for they are barely touching your contorted earth

(not Pluto's underground flat!)

for they can walk so far

so far

as to stand in the line of self-indulged consumers

of slaughtered sheep and dead flies,

pardon my feet

for they may never reach

the alter of your God-given haven

of synthetic love.


Pardon me,

if I am too shallow

I can not unearth

what has not been buried,

I have neither mountains

nor valleys,

just a shacked plateau

I may be

of barrenness and mirage

with wandering pre-menstrual girls


in the sandstorms of doom;

their mortal men:

lepers, beautified



their mortal men:

masters of intellect.


I have no peak

no abyss

no poles;

I am the equivalent of a mobile pale dot


for twenty eight years

from where

I've viewed your immaculate cosmos

through an obscenely diminutive life-scope.

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment to the poet Leila Farjami

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