Cousins in Iran

Strangers, we were all awkward

teens with pimples and gangly limbs.


We studied each other with doe eyes

while our parents sobbed

and hugged and kissed over our heads.


We found our common tongue

in cards, the deal of 5, 4, 4.


Across from our partner we threw

communication down

in the form of suits:

pictures and numbers.


The connection wove

its way through hands won,

phrases in the game needing

no translation.


Cushioned by Persian rugs

and endless cups of amber tea,

we called the hook and learned

why our parents had cried when they embraced.


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