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Poetry

Make Her Our's

 

By Nina Farnia
April 23, 2003
The Iranian

Here we are fighting another war. And my hands are soaked in blood. 
In Iraqi Blood. 
In Columbian Blood.
In Palestinian Blood.
In Burmese Blood.
In the Blood of women everywhere, raped in Bosnia, hungry and dying in Argentina.
In the Blood of Haitian and Ugandan orphans.

Because I am American.

I went to school in this country
I work and live in this country
My parents came to this country
for something they didn't have before.

I have gained from being American. 
And now in return I am complicit in the death and destruction of others.

It's the American way.

It's a fair trade.

It's an American trade.

I asked my parents
why they came here; what suffering
were we running from that can't be
replaced by another suffering here? 

They shrugged.

After 24 years of being American
we no longer remember our Iranian suffering 
it's been washed away by our American suffering. 

And so I fight. 
I continue my family's fight. 
My family's struggle for freedom. 
I hear them say

be careful
stop
go back to school
don't get arrested
see what happened to your family? 
don't you see how dangerous this could be for you?  

So I practice what I learned in school. 
I do a cost-benefit analysis. 
And I can't seem to find any benefits to continuing the struggle. 
The costs are many. The risks are unspeakable. 

But the benefits
they are
subtle
and
distant. 

Assuming that someday We win. 
But what is it to win? Do We really know? Do We even ask anymore? 
Do We see a future, or are We too busy fighting against some destructive present, or memory of the past?

I come from a country that won a revolution.

I am proud of that.

But Revolution, where are You now? 
You've been co-opted by conservative, oppressive
Islam. 
You've been criminalized by
America
and the
West. 
You've forgotten what You began. 
You went into hiding Revolution. 
You left Us behind and You never came back. 

So now, here We are, left with Your remains:
what they call radical Islam what they call the Axis of Evil.  
And all of Us were so optimistic, Revolution,
when You came and found Us,
But now We are struggling
trying to figure out what options We have left. 

Now, I disregard my cost-benefit analysis. 

And I fight on two fronts.  
For the struggle my family began in Iran
and for the struggle my children will continue in America. 

I am proud to be Iranian. 

I am proud to be American. 

And so I fight with my people, all of them

even if the Iranians don't like my American walk, laugh at my American accent, have disdain for my American privelege.

even if the Americans think I come from a country of weak women, fanatical men. or better, have never heard of Iran at all. 

Someday those two fronts will become one, where we all search together for Revolution, because
She is out there
waiting for Us to find Her again. 
Waiting for Us to mold her, and make Her Our's. 
 
Don't worry Revolution
maybe You want to hide, but we're going to find You.

If it takes forever, We will.   

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