Practice Exercises by Kaveh Bassiri

Remove the tongue from its home in the freezer.
Cut a slit through the roof of yesterday.
Place the clapper at an available desk.
Rotate the vowels during hallway cross-examinations.
Repeat while washing dishes for ten to twenty years
until they register as white, invisible.
Remove from night school and dress in Ann Taylor.
Let stand in day labor for ten more years before entrusting.
Carefully remove the yashmak of accent.
No, repeat after me. There is no Iran in I ran, no us in US.
There is home in whomever.
Kaveh Bassiri is an Iranian-American writer and translator. Bassiri has written two chapbooks, 99 Names of Exile, the winner of the AnzaldĂșa Poetry Prize (2018), and Elementary English, recent winner of Rick Campbell Chapbook Prize (2020). Bassiri’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Best American Poetry, Best New Poets, Verse Daily, Virginia Quarterly Review, Copper Nickel, Beloit Poetry Journal, Shenandoah, and Mississippi Review. Bassiri is also the recipient of a 2019 translation fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Bassiri’s translations have appeared in the Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, The Common, Colorado Review, Two Line, Los Angeles Review, and Massachusetts Review.