On the anniversary of your death what should I call you, a gone guerrilla? The first female Fedayee gun-downed to death in an ambush? A girl in strife who left life for something better?
I simply remember you as mild-mannered Mehroush my friend and classmate at Tehran U’s Medical school where we shared a corpse to dissect in the third year and laughed our hearts out calling it Akbar Agha!
You were lambent, lenient, and in love lighted by your dead communist father and your neurotic mother, you were on a trouble spree as you were only twenty-three, innocent of the world’s tapestry and of people whom you only knew by the dream of them a barrage of visions of their fair tyranny, a mirage of your convictions in the desert of mind.
Though I held you sighted I knew nothing of your heroic fervor doomed idealism and the way the world felt to you. I only knew you were red as blood and roses camouflaged on the campus by your copy of Being and Nothingness you often held in your arms, pulling a curtain of silence between your language and mine.
Last I saw you, you cast yourself on the seat across my table in our joint, that cafeteria a beat away from Diana Cinema, had tea and sweet, talked of the Vietnam War and Shah’s Health Corps and when your lover joined us smiling deliciously, you stroke your eyes against his face, shook the golden light out of your hair and beamed at Cupid’s dart as sympathy snaked through your heart and your hazel eyes ached for future of the people, in a quixotic way.
When I left Iran I heard you were caught in an ambush, resisted the armed secret police and got shot under a soulful sun that dripped honey for the nation.
With legend of Guevara wedged into your despair, you’d been hiding with your lover and comrades in this clandestine house in a shantytown suburb of Tehran, armed with pistols, grenades, machine-guns, cyanide for suicide, blades of justice buried in your blood.
Then one autumn morning you stepped out of the house, items in hand walked up the short alley, stopped and turned saw shadowy figures surrounding the fantasy-filled house, whole neighbourhood, no song of cicadas in the arid air, crows and sparrows had flown away from rat-infested ditches, empty plots, moments ticked so slowly by.
And you ran, ran at the speed of thought sought to escape to a nearby neighbour’s ignored warnings to surrender or die, poets’ words shrieked in pain at once you heard a song as soft as nothingness and were riddled with thirteen bullet holes as the wind held its baffled breath.
Thus you faded into your flawed convictions far before our motherland became foul and full of graves.
On the anniversary of your death, I lay on your eyelids my hand’s spell and watch time reverse itself, life flow back into you and you, lifting out of the oblivion, fly backwards, like a tumbler pigeon, onto the alley where the alphabet of your landscape ended.
I wash you in my relish for life, warm you with my heart’s singeing sun, and feed your sight with today’s substances that come from our yesterday’s lapses.
Then I glance all my questions at you and wait to see if you still want to sacrifice your precious life for our people in that futile way, running full chest into a brick wall, to get them out of our Matrix, our shadows’ flesh.