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The hill

January 14, 2002
The Iranian


A balmy winter eve on Capitol Hill,

wrapped in the warm orange embrace of the setting sun

I feel my heart beat for another place -- almost any.

Wondering if it is mine alone this yearning.

Or if it in fact happens to many

who, having come from afar,

leave their quest in the dust of their own tired feet.


Or is it only for those like me

who reaching a crossroad on top of a hill stand still.

Wondering if it is their place to turn.

Pondering endlessly the red of traffic lights

turning green.

And find comfort in the rounded curve of a sidewalk on a street

filled with the distant scream of a siren that has lost its meaning.


In the early morning light I see

dog and master promenading and feel fear.

Wondering if it is only me who is afraid of

the single life of a neutered dog in the midst of all this concrete.

Late nights and early mornings gripping a leash,

walking on wide-open rectangles of lonely green.

Endless conversations falling upon long fluffy ears.


Is this why we took to perilous seas?

To come here one day and stand on this Hill

and feel the loneliness of those who came before us.

The regrets turned into colossal buildings,

too big to belong to anyone with sea salt on their lips.


Here regret is the biggest sin.

They hide it in blocks of marble

and build with it.

So that it has no chance of showing its wretched face.

Lest the tired voyagers should see it,

and turn away.

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Comment for the writer Setareh Sabety

By Setareh Sabety

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