Mahmoud’s Shirley Temple

Mahmoud the evil well-digger,
Was the bugaboo of my childhood,
Muddled with Savak and a dash of black dog.
Avoid rooms with more than three people,
The scrubby empty lot across the kuche,
The roasted baby camel on the platter,
And particularly the night.
Mahmoud and his henchmen skulked,
Dusty and turbaned,
Twirling their mustaches like cinema villains,
Waiting to catch me and toss me into the well,
To die slowly.

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About Avery Cassell

Avery Cassell is a genderqueer San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist, and artist who grew up in Iran. They live with their Maine Coon cat, Lulu, and bake yeasted waffles every Sunday morning. Behrouz Gets Lucky is their first novel. You can find their erotic short stories sprinkled in various anthologies, including Best Lesbian Erotica 2015 and Sex Still Spoken Here. Avery is currently working on a book of more of Behrouz and Lucky's shenanigans, a memoir, and an illustrated early reader children's book about a eight year old transgender boy and his family.
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