The Amir Kabir Hotel

a hotel for travellers,
two stories high with a balcony
around a centre courtyard
I share a room with two French women,
one night a movie
in an American compound
about the New York subway,
a mugging
I am not used to being
with North Americans.
I cannot leave the hotel alone.
One night to a Persian home
I ask what roosters say in Farsi,
in French it is coocoorikoo,
but no one understands me.
Next day to another Persian home,
three children,
I learn to count
to ten in Farsi,
almost go to school,
but the teacher bars me.
my blonde hair a curiosity
to the mother's friends
they touch it, examine it,
proceed with their henna jobs
a bungalow in
a suburb like a western suburb,
a rose garden in October bloom,
a turning point,Teheran
halfway to India
halfway back to Europe
la forza del destino