Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Only One

A mount of rice, many peaks of saffron,
the myriad skewers of ground lamb kebab
with basil and sumac—wrapped in sangak—
and barbequed tomatoes.  For dessert
black mulberries in sugar, in golab,
and then ruby seeds, freed of skin and pulp,
garnished with lemon and Persian hogweed.
Then comes sholezard, sohan, and halva.
A child's hand reaches for tahdig.
It's painted red.  She's almost six.
Her searching eyes see things blurry.
She's the only one there, the young
lady stands in silence and waits.
Outside the home in the heavy rain
an old argument has broken out,
someone's been shamed, another
disrespected, a young woman blames
her own kind heart, a heavyset man mumbles
something to God, looking at the moon,
a boy shouts something that seems to have wounded
his own nephew's pride.
An old woman groans, and there
A quiet man with a thick mustache
bends over and cries; and then blubbers.
Inside a lady is reaching
for tahdig, for food, for something.

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