The wobbly ceiling fan threatens to decapitate the poetry workshop. They write quickly and nervously. Poetry, the instructor says, is fraught with happenstance and danger. Night in the American South, but the weather, apparently misdirected, has arrived from the Arabian Desert. History enters the room, when Lila, writing about a silk dress, remembers her childless grandfather, tailor to the Shah of Iran. He had laughed at the Shah, there on his knees with his nephews. The Shah, angry, gave him one week to find a second wife who could bear children. Or else. Now Lila sits writing about silk flowing through her grandfather’s hands. The ceiling fan shakes like an airplane forcing its way through the wind.
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