by Dr. Ali Zarrin
I had dreamed
I was shouting at my mother
while she kept denying
she favored my younger brother;
set his breakfast every morning:
freshly squeezed orange juice, the meat
of exactly two walnuts giving energy,
toasted Pita bread, soft-boiled eggs,
sliced cucumbers and tomatoes,
Feta cheese, black cherry jam,
and steeped Indian tea;
took his laundry to the cleaners;
bought him presents on his birthdays,
but only once in my life
called to wish me happy birthday.
I was telling her,
while she laid in my bed,
that last night I didn't sleep well
because I had a horrible dream.
She cut me short:
"Don't reveal it to anyone.
Go to the sink,
open the faucet
and let the water run.
Talk to the water.
Let the water know your dream.
Or stand by the window
and converse with the light."
Ali Zarrin was born in Iran in 1952 and immigrated to the USA in 1970. He has not been back in the past 33 years. He finished a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UW and has taught literature and poetry at several colleges, universities, and writers' workshops including UW, University of Colorado at Denver, Foothills College—CA, Naropa University Boulder, and Regis University—Denver. He has published his work in both Persian and English.