Art Heifetz

New Year’s Poem #2


O to be in Tehran at Nowruz

and watch your dark,

seductive eyes

catch sparks from the flames.

You chase away the mangy jube dogs

sniffing at the gutters

and leap like a doe

through the fires

raging in the streets

your head covered with a black chador,

your son nestled in your arms

gazing in wonder

at the conflagrations.

You give to the flames

your sallow face of winter.

and take from them

the redness of pomegranates

and sweet wine,

of Rumi’s love poems,

of the robes of Haji Firuz

which rustle as his blackened face

bursts into song.


You’ve arranged the apples,

garlic, berries, pudding,

the barley sprouting from the dish

like a cleric’s green beard.

You’ve eaten one decorated egg

for each of your children.

You’ve fed the goldfish

circling in their bowls.

Whatever the new year

may choose to deliver,

you’re ready.

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