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Naked or veiled, you’re not some impotent
man’s wet dream; black kohl of a houri tossed
to a paradise only a merchant
of girl flesh would pander to. When you lost
your milk teeth, you threw them up to the sun,
singing, “take my donkey teeth and bring me
gazelle teeth.”
I love how our old heathen
language survived. Now we speak with fairy
tongues. My daughter, you might be a jinneh,
but you’re no reward, no handmaid. Naked
or veiled, I shall love you. I shall love you
chaste and vestal or ribald and risque.
We speak of an agreement, a scared
pact, not spoken in Persian or Hebrew.



Houri: in Persian lore, one of the immortal virgins of the Koranic paradise; used to describe a beautiful, but submissive, woman.

Jinneh: a female jinn.