1968 (Crossing the Border Between Turkey & Iran)

My tender lips pressed to the dirt,
11 years old, flinging myself down, sobbing,
At the Turkey – Iran border,
Guard posts and soldiers,
Buses stacked with spilling chickens and children,
Kurds, swaggering teens, and hippies.
To see and see again – was I home again?
Bugs, gravel, ash, sand collecting in the corners of my mouth,
My sweaty palms flat, absorbing the country,
Knees scraped pink and bumpy,
In my madras shift and Italian sandals,
A glass of tea to welcome me,
A sugar cube held between my front teeth,
And hot brown tea sucked through,
Sweeter.

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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