What is love by another name?

Shahrzad Irani
Corona del Mar, California

Have you heard about the lost city
of Atlantis?
Stories have been told
About its civilization;
Many have searched for its
Location, spending fortunes
And lives;
Legends have inspired curiosity and fascination

How could a city be forgotten?
What happened to its people and culture?

If discovered, could you wonder the land
And imagine their lives?

Would flowers grow once more?
Would the earth flow that legendary life
In the veins of flowers again?
Would gardens perfume the air?

Would palm trees tell the secrets of its citizens:
Their desires, pains, hopes, and dreams...

The blushing laughter of a young girl who had
Just felt the warmth of the sun for the first time;

A boy racing to become a man, with the city cherishing
And cheering him on.

Secret meetings and promises...

My head is flooded with the aroma of Atlantis;
I can no longer hold my peace.
My confession has traveled many years and
Lands to reach you... Forgive me for
Not revealing myself;
Please listen to my heart:

I was born in Atlantis.
I drank its milk and Atlantis fed my muscles
And my spirit;
Its sun was my shelter and its walls were my perfume;
All the citizens were my neighbors

Atlantis watched over me at nights and its moon
Lightened my dreams;
Atlantis promised me love, passion and adventure;
Atlantis taught me how to keep the city burning inside me.

I can now illuminate the city at will.
I still feel the warmth of my neighbors.
I hear its beat and I move to its rhythm.

At nights, I could close my eyes and walk the streets for
Hours... I rest by the shore and let the golden river
Soothe my sole... I watch my playmates sail on
Magnificent vessels... Unending Pageant... parading
Their love and flying their flags of friendship... I
Wonder how many will remember this land!

I love this city with all my strength... Its colorful and
Brave citizens, romantic and cheerful songs, kind and
Wise teachers, and its keepers and warriors.

Sometimes, I am afraid that I would forget Atlantis;
I run through the streets and meadows:
I find the biggest and greenest palm tree and take
A rest under its beauty, secrets would be retold
And I would remember again...

My heart aches for people who...
Have never lived in or known Atlantis...
Have never felt the warmth of its streets, sweet
Black sands, balmy breezes, embraces of its
River and lovers who were never afraid and
Always believed

I know that Atlantis can not be again.
It was as if the gods created the most amazing
Place on earth to... let the children run free...
... Build a sanctuary for lovers... Ensure that
All citizens had love in their hearts... Bring the
Feverish spring, eternal summer, unyielding sun,
Passionate moon, jeweled earth, and holy river
Together... prove that paradise belongs to the living...

This meeting of time, life and love produced a fruit that
Could never be duplicated... Others could have a similar smell
Or appearance... But could never be the exact same experience...
You can ask the Gods for the recipe and no matter how hard
You try, it will never be the same...

So is it my fate to remember it and live with it only in my
Heart... knowing that love will never be again...
I am sentenced to carry this secret with me...

From time to time I am homesick and want to talk about my city...

So if you see me melancholy, ask about my birthplace
And since I can not tell you about Atlantis
Ask about it by another name

Ask me about Abadan...

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Last Updated: 16-Jul-96
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