For Grandfather

/ /

And then a rock dove, astonished midair, dove
from its own ghost that stamped upon the pane,
in dovetailed detail, a short-lived afterlife
before it all came avalanching down
and I was left to split the difference
between transparence and sheer emptiness.
Lifting a palm, I spread it on the pane

of your still-lifted palm, spreading in pain
behind the far side of the fading moon
of breath now misting up the wall of glass
which splits the terminal in half. Isfahan
nesfe jahan, you’d boast, lifting a glass.
If you’ve seen Isfahan, then you’ve seen half
the world. I’ll see you in the other half.


See me in the other half, grandpa,
cutting new teeth on the same old saw:
I left, you stayed. I left, you stayed. My niche:
to peddle you in my own anguished English.
And how will they see you? Turban on head,
hookah in your mouth, and pomegranate
juice streaming down your mustache, you are dead
center of a handwoven Persian carpet.

Your best handwoven Persian carpet, the center-
piece (remember?) of grandma’s living room,
paid for my dentist. So memories of you loom,
flown in to cover bills (mom’s bone loss bent her
spine and father has a kidney stone)
until your cherished rugs are, like you, gone.