My American Love
Thirty-Two Poems for Wendy
By Majid Naficy
There is a bird in my throat
Which knows only Persian.
Whatever I teach her in English
She still sings in her mother’s tongue.
I stand in front of the mirror
Put my tongue between my teeth
And say: “Three, three”
But I hear: “Tree, tree.”
Suddenly, I notice the rumbling
Of the No. 3, from the street below.
Now, I must call her
And say that I’ll be late.
Be sure not to say “boss” instead of “bus”
Or to pronounce the first letter of her name as “V”!
For “W”, I must round my lips
Just as I do when I kiss her.
February 13, 2008
POEMS: 1. On the Bridge, 2. I Hope the Water Returns, 3. Empty Baskets 4. Coffee Maker 5. Anxious Heart 6. Washing 7. Bougainvillea 8. Simple Truth 9. Persian-Singing Bird 10. The Gardener 11. Lost Cypresses 12. Visiting the Wall 13. Is Love a Glass of Hormones? 14. Independence Day 15: Oh, Pain 16. The Season of Picking Raspberries 17. Who Is More Envied? 18. Watching Baseball 19. A Night in Calistoga 20. Dreaming “High Noon" 21. I Do Not Write Poetry for Eternity 22. Our Footprints in Maui 23. Bay to Breakers 24. The Altar of Poetry 25. Dublin 26. Watching the Snow with Wendy 27. George Habash Sandwich 28. Morning Blend 29. Stroke 30. Mating Dove 31. In or Out of Love? 32. Anniversary in Rome