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.

About Avery Cassell

Avery Cassell is a queer butch San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist, and artist who grew up in Iran.
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