When Will You Return?

Translated from the Persian by Ali Zarrin



You were late!

I fell to earth.

The wind was blowing from all around,

but the torn pieces of my shirt

were waving toward your homesickness.


You came so late, Parmida!

My face and hair have turned so white

and my shoulders have sunken–

as if I have been waiting

for you in all the terminals of the world;

as though my shoulders

have wept in all the stations of the world!


Three autumns ago

when my hands were not yet trembling

I wrote on the same plane tree

That on a rainy day you carved the letter N of my name:

“Parmida, you were too late!

I fell

to the ground


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