Vincent and Franz were my neighbors when I was young
Each lived in a corner house at the end
Of our dead end alley invisible to naked eyes.
Where was this neighborhood? Some people ask.
The ones who know where I was born
Don’t believe a word of mine.
Iran has no foreigners
Let alone two in your side of town.
Vincent was Ana’s little brother I explain,
The youngest son of a pious family
That lived next to the mosque.
Ana, the coquettish girl who was touched
By devout worshippers and married men alike
Such story I have no reason to craft.
Who do you think was behind
The scandalous affair of Haji Morad
The respectable rug merchant in bazaar?
Why do you think Ibrahim, her father
Cut her throat in sleep one night?
I know this tale first hand
Vincent painted me the crime.
The stream of blood drenched her pillow,
Tainted her young plaid skirt
Ruined the doll she loved the most.
Vincent was not talkative at all
A reserved character, belligerent at times
Yet he could capture the detail
Of every mirage engraved in his twisted mind.
Frantz was a bastard child of a housemaid and a judge
He told me once himself
Never being shy of calling his mother a whore.
Frantz had a wealth of knowledge on self-gratification
It was him who taught Vincent and I
To enhance our pleasure by refining our minds.
Expert on how to molest innocent words with grace
To defile a virgin without ever touching her flesh.
The dead end alley we lived in was long and gray
Inundated with filth and deception
Even rain couldn’t wash away.
Crooked homes leaning on one another
Amorphous walls erected high curbing the sanity
Doors warped with despair, ironed windows distorting light.
And I never forget the scent,
That mystic aroma of their kitchens
Their mothers’ cooking I pined to taste
Yet the rule was clear, I was not to set foot in their homes
As everyone in neighborhood knew
Vincent was insane and Franz a Jew.
The only friends of my childhood
The ones I’d got along
Were two disturbed individuals by all accounts.
And when I picture the times we had together
Explain the detail, shed light on corners
To make a sense of it all,
The more secret I reveal
The murkier this canvas grows.
For that reason only I don’t wish to share
Every colorful twirl of our childhood’s boomerang.
We shared wickedness, our perverse delight
When we staggered for hours in starry nights.
Wandering specters that’s all we were
Caressing the velvet of fantasy lost in the haze of life.