It’s inevitable. After the syrupy fizz has taken its toll, after the Persian beats pull your body in every direction. There will be a goodbye and hugs that make you think about infinite late nights of parents playing cards and kids crowded in a cool basement. You don’t remember what you played – maybe tag and lots of talking – but that hug makes you feel like you’re missing all the things your childhood got right.

You’ll exchange numbers and make fabulous plans and grand promises to meet up again soon. Your eyes will pop with the glare of white camera lights and you’ll start to calculate what’s left. The ever dwindling number of weddings, the only excuses now that gather everyone from all their separate coasts.

But my! when that first Persian song fills those echoey hotel walls and the plastic floors flood with brunettes and beards – that’s a coming home that you can’t describe. A perfect moment in time when the Middle Eastern half of you breaks free in a burst of thrusting hips and hands that dance and twist like Monarch butterflies. You think that maybe this is the true you, and you smile at these faces that became family and feel the stretch of your seams.

It’s inevitable. Someone will be the first to go, someone the last. And those hugs will feel like the start of something new that fades with the throb of the yellow morning sun.

Back Home

The land welcomes you back

with a snaking road that

slithers between green brown

mountains, just looming

shadows that tower in the moonlight.

The nights are porch nights,

cool like water settled after a long boil.

This land comes with a heat that crackles,

the sun a sphere that sucks up all the moisture.

It echoes with the buzz of lawn mowers and

the wet click of automatic sprinklers.

This place is saturated with nostalgia

that shimmers in the desert air,

mirages of memories that faded over time.