by jamh

Do you remember
how we first met?
Not being clever
I was clueless, more or less,
of the provenance of things
or what became mine.

Lying awake, some nights,
I could hear heated debates
from my parent's room.
Their fear seemed abstract.
A mathematical line

starting in our home
and ending in a point
that could only stretch
to a distant time.

I fell asleep trying
to think of a number
that was large enough
not to be drenched in
my mother's apprehension.

I dreamed of a vast square,
Isfahan's perhaps.
Everywhere I walked hands
mouths, eyes pleading
for something, anything,
to feed our children,
our children's children.

Who was I? To give to all?
As I licked my ice cream,
as I changed the channel,
looking for, and not finding,

In another dream,
without my expensive suit,
in my underwear,
I moaned for a loaf of bread.
Yet I was bathed in light
or at least enlightenment.

As coins became numbers
then electricity,
as misery (or opulence)
was hidden from my view,
as I lost my job, my health, my sleep,
my father's words,
his advice to my mom
rang from his tomb:
"If Luck dispenses Money,
would you say that Luck
is a gift from God, for what we're worth?
or a curse of the Devil, to see us fall?

And if you can't tell,
then isn't it best to"
and I always fell asleep at this point
for I was sure he said, had to
"get your sleep."



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