Santa Monica Farmers' Market

Santa Monica Farmers' Market
by Majid Naficy

I hear this dialect

With its silent "J"

Singing everywhere.

It is Wednesday's market

Near Santa Monica beach

With the scent of Persian basil

Chinese sugar peas

and Mexican jalapenos.

A woman smiles at me

Behind the jars of honey.

Flowers have covered her muumuu

And "B"'s are buzzing in her words.

I walk over the bridge

Looking at the cars below,

Passing, oblivious to me.

I know, on Freeways

All signs are written in English.

But my sorrow knows only Persian.

March 30, 1993
Persian original


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