English was foreign in my Levitt home. I spoke the tongue of Iran,
or Farsi, as I’d later know it, as I had never been to Iran.
A single leaf floats in my chai, I didn’t know this was tea,
my mother mixed her own with saffron she brought from Iran.
My first memory eludes me: I either clutched my mother’s arm walking in Macy’s,
or bought fresh sangak from the noon-va. Though, surely, in America and Iran:
I’ve walked on George Washington Bridge and delighted in the electricity of New York City;
I’ve walked on Si-o-seh pol among its candle-lit arches across the Zayandeh in Iran.
Before the calls to ban my kin rang in my ears.
Before the calls of Death to America from Iran.
A fist homing in from my periphery
while being called a terrorist from Iran.
Skulls instead of stars, bombs instead of stripes for all to see.
The mural splattered on a wall. You think this is truly Iran.
My family calls me Alborz, after the mountain range. Where, underneath,
tectonic plates clash, inching the peaks farther, farther from Iran.