Iranian Interlude

Chance took me once to Persia
an exotic destination, even then
I recall a marriage proposal
by the uncle of a man I had seen only once
I recall sitting cross-legged on a Persian carpet
to eat roast chicken,
passing the Shah's palace in search of ice cream
while I considered my marriage proposal,
sleeping on the floor beneath a bench in a train,
turquoise markets
prolific gun markets.
College girls in kilts, giggling
a woman wearing purdah
watching Ed Sullivan dubbed in farsi
an enigma wrapped in an enigma
             Allah ou akbar