Your earliest memory, from the cot dreams
toys hoofing in a ring of light, to the tune
it’s a small world, after all that is poetry in itself
apropos of such unfolding, in nonage, in infancy
marriage at twenty-five, offspring by thirty
was never yours, nor office administration
not even the longest term mortgage, to settle you
into the long haul, the long yards,
the back yards, and cats and dogs
none of them yours. It was written in a villanelle
it was ordained by Auden, it killed your chances
you slid by the cornfields, under Van Gough’s sill
you fell into a lustful fate, a pond of muddy water
you swam with the eels, your electric adult
on the blink, powering down and dreamless.

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TARA MOKHTARI is a Persian writer and academic based in New York City. Tara has a PhD in Creative Writing and Master of Creative Media/Poetry. Her book, The Bloomsbury Introduction to Creative Writing, has been adopted by undergraduate writing programs in the U.S, UK, and Australia, and is based on more than a decade as a professor of creative writing and communication. Tara's first book of poems, Anxiety Soup, was published by Finlay Lloyd Press in 2013, and her co-edited book of essays, Testimony, Witness, Authority: The Politics and Poetics of Experience, was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing the same year. Her poems, poetry reviews, and essays on poetics are published in magazines and journals internationally, including VLAK 3 (Prague) and HEAT (Sydney). Tara moonlights as a screenwriter on assignment for independent producers in L.A, London, and New York, and she has a background in theatre as a playwright and director. Currently, Tara is an Assistant Professor of Communication Arts at Bronx Community College, and she's also collaborating on a translation of all 495 of Hafez's ghazals with her mom!

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