My Grandmother’s Hands

Alongside Indigenous lettuce

round, aromatic fenugreek leaves emerge

from the warm spring soil.


We harvest the leaves

and are reminded of how far

these beloved seeds have come.


We thresh each leaf,

then slowly chop this tender herb

along with mint, dill, tarragon,

cilantro, parsley, chives.


We light the old stove, add olive oil,

and saute onions in our clay pan.

Sea salt and advieh–

As we stir

aromas of cumin, cardamom,

Rose, and pepper arise.


When the onions are golden-hued,

we fry the greens

stirring the herbs

with our well seasoned wooden spatula.

The chicken eggs laid this morning

now rest in a bowl.


Here we are, cooking in a yurt

within a floodplain,

temporal guests in this

home of the Awaswas, Mutsun, Uypi.


Far from my ancestral lands–

the aroma carries me

back to Iran’s kitchen,

space tended by

my grandmother’s hands.

Black book of hours
Astavakra was born crooked for laughing in the womb