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Poetry

Resist

 

November 10, 2004
iranian.com

Flipping through pages of a dictionary
you taste the bitterness of a language
so foreign to your tongue
yet, you can't stop tasting this venom
or you will not survive

You passed 1051 mountains of cold words
re-lived 1001 tales of Shahrzad they made up
and here you are
nine years pregnant with this masochistic verbosity
page 1051:
Reside. Resident. Resign. Resilience. Resist. Resist. Resist.

Nine years here
and still can't tell where you reside
nine years
and it still hurts to scribble
words and numbers
on lines that stretch
across the pages to affirm
your existence
your inherent presence
Permanent residence:
Blank.

Reside. Resident. Resign. Resilience. Resist. Resist. Resist.
Voices echo in your ears
painfully throb through your veins
stop and make a knot in your throat:
"Are you registered to vote?"
Voices
Damn blaring voices
Can't they hear the eloquence of your silence:
NOT A CITIZEN!
But are you
registered to feel the pain
when the woman you love
cuts through your heart
with her keen words?
Are you registered to cry
when you can't tell your mother
that you need her shoulders here
half a world away?
Or are you registered
to dream of a kind shoulder
and a mad woman nuzzling a candle's neck?

Reside. Resident. Resign. Resilience. Resist. Resist. Resist.
It's raining.
It's raining and voices echo in your ears:
"are you ready to resign?"
Was it raining nine years ago
when your mother hopelessly cried?
Damn blaring voices
Can't they hear the silent cries
Carved on your body
that smells
of wars
of borders
of women and trees.

Reside. Resident. Resign. Resilience. Resist. Resist. Resist.
I plant my hands in the empty place
Where the memory of a shattered heart
Screams its ghostly presence
I grow green
And my roots
yes, my roots
embrace my veins
reach my throat
and cripple the knot
Dearest cry
Breathe love
Nothing can take away the appetite
For a passionate spring

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