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Taarofing



By Roger Sedart
August 14, 2002
The Iranian

Uncle Farhang ringside cracking seeds
Wildly cheers"The Fearless Iranian"
In the black mask, Come on now, body slam
Him champ!
spitting shells on the metal seats.

The good guy wins. We follow ours back in
His dressing room for autographs. He knows
My uncle's friend (a coach) and even shows
Pictures. Great seeds, he says, watermelon?

My Uncle gives his bag away and asks
Him to the house. We have to wake my aunt
At 3:00 a.m. to cook but then she can't
Because the wrestler wants a dozen eggs

With bacon (pork is wrong, but mistreating
A guest is worse). At the all night Kroger
She buys every package of hamburger
Meat, fully aware he's never leaving.

They feed him forty kabob koobideighs
Each night, then let him sit in their bathroom
For hours. My cousins, as if to welcome
Him out, grin, with both hands on their kidneys.

When he decides to leave, my Uncle says
Stay three more weeks. And then when he insists,
Uncle dumps the fridge into an ice chest,
Fishes in his pants' pockets for the keys

To his new Ford, (his only way to work),
Because the bus is slow. You'll return it
In a few months, when you come to visitÍ
So he drives off, emitting random sparks

From the bumper grating the street, too much
Weight in the trunk: potatoes, ground meat, shoes
My uncle found "too tight," and slightly used
Toys from cousins, who scream, Come back to us!



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