Confession with Interpolations by the Persian Poet Rumi

by Penelope Scambly Schott

He came to repair scratches on my old car.
He parked his van and called me Miss Penelope.
  Judge the moth by the beauty of the candle.
Tall, late forties, curly black hair, shorts and t-shirt,
he patched, he sanded, he painted. He buffed.
  This poetry: I never know what I’m going to say.
I flat out asked. He said he came from Persia.
He buffed, he polished. He buffed.
  There is a candle in your heart ready to be kindled.
He hammered shut the can of automotive red.
He clicked a lighter and lit an unfiltered cigarette.
  Protect yourself from your own thoughts.
The mended fender glowed red as my heart.
My beat-up car looked almost new.
  The intelligent desire self-control; children want candy.
I wanted to ride away with him in his van.
I wanted to go back to smoking.
  The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore.
The slow breath in. That live fire.
Call me Persian Empress of Burning Red.

Copyright 2016, Penelope Scambly Schott

Penelope Scambly Schott’s most recent book is How I Became An Historian. Forthcoming in October 2016 is In The House Of The Cardomom Seed. Penelope is a past recipient of the Oregon Book Award in Poetry.

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