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One more round
Five poems

By Banu
June 28, 2000
The Iranian

Prose-k Poetry
Who is alone

An ending without words
From patience

To top

Prose-k poetry

Sipping a cold beer with a pinch of salt because it cuts the bitterness and raises the foam that tickles my lips - and because my Daddy always drinks it this that way. I am hoping that Pete's Wicked Ale will chase the Heineken that will dissolve the little pill that is supposed to stop the trembling in my hands. People have told me that my hands are pretty and delicate. As I watch them now, they are trembling.

Through the deepest tracks of my mind, the same thoughts race around. Yet they are not real thoughts, because they lead to nowhere quickly.

"What are you thinking?" the elusive master asks.

My head is throbbing. "I have no idea what I am thinking! These are not even real thoughts. Leave me alone. Please leave me alone, and stop asking that stupid question."

"Why should I leave you alone? What makes you so damn special? What the hell do I care what you are thinking?" He persists.

Resisting the master and still sipping my beer, I cannot decide whether to be combative or relaxed, active or passive, awake or tired. What is the best pose? "Leave me alone. Ple-e-e-a-se!" I whisper. I cannot muster more than a whisper.

Falling on to the couch, my body loosens slightly from exhaustion. I try to feel comfortable, even though my hands are still trembling. The quiver is barely noticeable, but I feel it running through my entire body like a current against which I must keep swimming. I cannot swallow another pill to tame the quiver, because then I will just drop into the chasm of sleep, and how will I climb out of that dark and soothing hole? The temptation to succumb to sleep is too strong, pulling me out of myself, tugging at my pretty, delicate, but still trembling hand.

With my beer bottle half full, I cannot decide whether to take another sip. Nothing seems to quiet my nerves, not even Daddy's taste in ales. I miss him so much. Yet the master snaps at me: "The futility of all this, the absolute futility of you, your degrees, all those activities you busy yourself with - between now and death. Go ahead miss him and everyone else too. All of it is futile. It all ends sooner rather than later. Give it up! "

"What the hell do you mean `Give it up!'? I am a busy person with a purpose, with a family who adores me, with friends who need me in happy and sad times. My friends, my family - they all come to me when they are down, and I keep their secrets inside me. They have no idea that I let you yell at me like this! And I am not going to let you anymore. I will not allow you to shout me down!" My trembling hand gestures wildly as I argue.

"`Allow'? You think that you can `allow' or `disallow' me to be here! You don't seem to grasp what is happening!" The master yells back at me.

"You are invading my mind. That is what is happening here. I have already figured that out, you bastard! And I have no intention of just letting you march through my head to destroy all the real thoughts that matter. I have no idea why you have these darts racing around the tracks of my mind to end up nowhere? Don't you find this tiring? You know, I will not surrender my mind to you?"

The master stares at me and laughs sarcastically, as I come close to sobbing, but I hold back. "Where is that blasted bottle of tiny pills? I need to sleep, and I will feel better when I wake up. I know I will. I will. That's what Daddy keeps telling me." I can hear his reassuring voice inside my head as I watch another pinch of salt sink into my beer bottle. I put the pill underneath my tongue. The foam is rising, and I have to drink quickly before the beer floods the bottle and wets my hand.

I stare at my hand - the one holding the bottle. It is pretty and delicate, and my nails are filed perfectly with a French manicure. The trembling finally stops, until the next time. I lick grains of salt off the tip of the bottle as the beer trickles down my throat. Resting on the couch, whispering nothings to myself, feeling the peace of sleep, the master releases his grip. One more round, and I am the awkward victor. My mind is bruised, but I am determined not to lose this battle...

To top

Who is alone

as he caresses his nostalgia, he cannot find her anywhere.

she seems so distant, but she has waited for him.


as he flirts with loneliness, he cannot find her or even dare

to think that she may be waiting for him.


as he embraces years gone by, he cannot find her or hope to share

the need for her to wait for and want him.


as she awaits his mind, she cannot find him anywhere.

yet she feels his presence engulfing her.


as she anticipates his tears, she cannot find him or even dare

to think that his presence, imaginary or real, may engulf her.


as she longs for his body, she cannot find him or hope to share

the need for his presence to engulf and penetrate her.


both begging the night sky, haze lifting from the moon, winds whirling

through the trees, a single sparrow cries: who is alone, who is alone...why?

To top


The alchemy of fate or destiny...

He dared express his need -- but quietly.

She listened to his pain, and patiently,

there, they joined together unknowingly.


He reached for her lithe body easily.

She grasped his wary arms, and naturally,

he drank her taste, her touch so eagerly,

`til they joined together unknowingly.


She hungered for him too unconsciously.

He felt her grasp so tightly, achingly.

She melted into his mind and body.

There, they joined together unknowingly.


Savior love, elixir love... the alchemy of fate or destiny.

To top

An ending without words

laying on that table

i thought:

"how did this happen?"

i gripped tightly

in my delicate hands

a tiny qur`an and an old 'mohr'

my mother had let me have

when i was a good little girl.


i knew that this decision

was for everyone else

-- not really for me.

i never even told them

because they worry so much already.

i was unsure about what i wanted

yet i would never look back

or so i claimed.

this action would be

painfully irreversible.

why look back?

walk forward in small steps.


when the doctor entered

i panicked and

even consindered escaping

through a window.

as i examined the room's exits

he disinfected his utensils

in a blue liquid smelling pungently.

he then warmed the tools

in a small oven

before they entered me.


i felt no pain

as i left the table

not yet anyway.

my friend ran his fingers

through my hair softly

after it was done.

he kept whispering,

"...so sorry..."

he gently pulled my body

close to his

holding my hand as

I tittered off-balance

on the floor.


a decade has passed

and i have walked forward

in small and large steps.

i look back every year


painfully irreversible

or irreversibly painful?

i wince and tear at this question

because i did what i thought i needed

to do: an ending without words.

No words at all...

To top

From patience

You saw, as the embers of fear that still glistened died slowly.

You soothed my burns with the cool water that flowed from your body.


I swam in that water, a stream that cleansed and awoken me.


We searched, immersed in that stream, wet and alive, waiting...

Waiting patiently, freely as night enveloped us with the intimacy of darkness

and silence.

To top

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