My Beloved!

What are you?
To me perhaps,
The distant memories
Of a rowdy child.
The Goosebumps
In the cold dark cinema
With a frosty Pepsi in.
Or perhaps,
The garlic flavor of bologna
The orange color of Fanta
Or the salt of doogh*.
You’re the burning sensation,
The sting of punishment
In the palms of my hands.
The painful strikes
Of the merciless flog
For my sloppy homework
Or being late to school.
You’re every word I misspelled
When I was dictated to.
You’re the sweet
Steam of the baked beets
On the street vendor’s cart.
You’re the stripes of the plastic balls
I kicked as a child.
You’re as dark,
As gooey as the melted tar
Stuck to the sole of my bare feet
In the summer heat of Ahvaz.
You’re the brawls I had
With friends in class breaks.
You’re my sore throat
My doctor excuse.
You’re my ruthless teachers
In third grade and four.
Slap in my face,
Excruciating pain of
A pencil squeezed
Between my fingers.
You’re my the day of spring
The New Year’s joy
Aroma of roasted nuts
The haft seen, the hyacinth
The crisp money
My father gave to everyone
The New Year’s break,
Thirteen days of happiness.
You’re as scarlet as poppies,
Blanketed the meadows
In spring of our town.
You’re the scent of bread,
My aunt baked every Friday,
On the roof of her house.
Oh! and I dodged your wrath
Every time my angry mother
Threw a shoe, orange peel or a spatula
At me
Now that I think of it,
The spatula, I didn’t dodge
On that autumn afternoon
The spatula hit me, right in the forehead.
And I cherished your mercy
Your kindness and compassion
In the lap of my favorite aunt
After every punishment.
And I enjoyed your loans
From aunt Zari’s petty cash,
The coins I barrowed
The ones I never repaid.
You’re my feverish youth
One stolen kiss
I swear to God, only one
From my first love
That forbidden touch
At the age of fourteen!
The mischievous innocence
And the scandalous affair
The long family feud
That came afterward.
You’re in the books
I read in solitude
The new horizon I saw
Illicit ideas, contraband thoughts
The taboo of your life
And certainly mine
Freedom for all.
Then came the turmoil
The revolution
The decisive moments
Of my life and yours.
A rush in my veins
An ideal
To make a dream come true.
I was there
With millions in the streets
In the heat of upheaval
In labyrinth of Tehran.
We made the change
For  better or for worse
When the fever quenched
And dust settled,
Hopes dashed
Fear, despair, sorrow
Only terror was left behind.
Then it came the time
To leave you behind
I had to survive
Surely you understand.
To live in a foreign land,
Hoping that one day
Call it my home.
Years and years past
That day never came.
My Beloved!
You’re an enigma
A tall shadow
An innocent angel
Born in the limbo
Of my hazy dreams.
I’m intoxicated
By an exotic mélange
Of sentiments
Some I don’t comprehend
Some I don’t dare to share
Some I never had before
Some I may never have again.

•        Doogh is a Yogurt drink