Bedtime Story [10]


For immigrant daughters, the expression of gratitude for these days in the new country, the good land, is obligatory. These days we chat with cousins back home over ooVoo. Our voices’ texture only ripple and distort and disconnect upon our own error: a mention of protests, sanctions, the new regime, the old one. For immigrant daughters, the oral knowledge of those days is also obligatory. Those days my mama slipped out of Iran a fingernail before the borders closed. Those days the phone operators hung up on my mama when she asked them to connect her to Iran, and so those days my mama and her sister licked closed their envelopes. These days my mama presses into my hands her sister’s halves of those days: piggy-piled papers, a child’s Tower of Babel. When these letters crossed an ocean, I was still a fetus, but in one card my aunt has already written my nickname in wobbly ink, projected me into those days. Time has never been linear. Each time I open a new envelope, 1979 splits my skin.