A poem for you on the last day of Nowruz

Today is the last day of Nowruz (Iranian New Year), called “13 Bedar” which means something like “getting rid of the 13th”. I wrote a poem for you, in 13 parts:

1. my grandparents live in Khorasan their marriage was arranged they grow sour cherries in their garden when we visit they make meatless dishes

2. in Iran you have to step into traffic that looks like it will hit you and if you don’t then you will never cross the street

3. when I smell gasoline I think of Tehran

4. my parents met in Berkeley at meetings of leftist expats hoping for the revolution that never came to Iran

5. my mom was Rafiq Niloofar that means comrade my dad was the consummate liberal he kept them honest and had good taste in socialists

6. my family moved to Illinois instead of LA figuring they’d rather be around white people than Persians turns out there are LA Persians everywhere

7. in elementary school I was embarrassed to invite my friends over bc I knew my mom would bring out fruit and not fruit rollups

8. when that South Park about the Persians came out I was grateful just to be depicted as tacky effeminate buffoons and not terrorists

9. after 3 seasons of Shahs of Sunset I have changed my mind

10. when I was 14 my grandparents gave me a gold Iran shaped necklace I don’t wear it anymore I don’t like to reinforce the stereotype that Iranians love gold

11. “I am Persian” means “I am distancing myself from the government of Iran” “I’m Iranian” means “don’t bomb it”

12. my mom loses friends over politics she’s ok with it I think I turned out a little more like her than she intended

13. we got fish for Nowruz it broke her heart to throw them in the lake on 13 bedar thinking it’s too bad they won’t live but then again who does


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