Queen Mob’s Presents: Nicholas Rombes

American Embassy
Taleghani Avenue

You drove me to the old humiliation on what was
Taleghani Avenue. The graffitied brick building across
The street dripping its blooded American flag.
The Statue of Liberty, its face a snagged
And dark and hollow skull.
Do these offend you? you asked, your hand upon the worn
Metallic knob, in neutral. Gunning it. You let your hijab
Fall back. The sunlight caught an angled sliver of your neck.
The fleck of men on black, wicked metaled motorcycles slowed
And stared. The clots of history on their side.
They have fake engines that take them nowhere, you smiled.
They have eyes, you know, that see so stupidly.

You laughed a little as they revved. You touched your hair.
You gunned
It again. They revved arrhythmic
back. You laughed through your nose.
You gunned it
One more time. You pulled
Away, with me—My God right there—
Beside you.


Nicholas Rombes is author of the novel The Absolution of Robert Acestes Laing (Two Dollar Radio), Ramones, from the 33 1/3 series (Bloomsbury) and Cinema in the Digital Age (Columbia UP). His film The Removals was released in 2016. Rombes is a columnist and contributing editor at Filmmaker Magazine, and teaches in Detroit, Michigan.

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