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July 15, 1999
The Iranian

we have shambled eternally
through the seven feats and defeats of Rotsam
throughout this interminable redundancy of virile destruction
and murderous patriotism

we - in idolatry of our innumerable heroes -
have slaughtered our sons on city streets
and in dark chambers of infamy,
we have gone unpunished but by memories of murder
damning our eternal existence,
and we will
be judged and decapitated through
the inevitability of fratricide

we have sold Esfandiar down the river,
subjected Siawash to exquisite inquisition,
and refused remedies to our fallen children:
Kai-Kawoos defending the glorious nation
from the death throes of Sohrab, the enemy

to overcome insipid hegemonies and tepid promises
they painted the world anew
in streets and alleys,
singing hymns of fire and fury
in battlefields and bookstores
they repeated universal histories tragically, farcically
over and unaware;
they slew illusory beasts
and contested unfeigned adversaries
who wanted nothing but to germinate serpent-like
in their shoulders
feeding on their brains,
to sew them inside earthen pin-cushions,
abandon them on distant mountaintops to carnivorous birds,
to baptize them in cruel holocausts requiring the proof of their purity
all so that the patriarchs could
raise glorious gory flags
and fill up glorious gory Swiss bank accounts

empty bloodied scabbards and holsters
as the times have demanded
overturned tanks and overthrown dynasties
and hysterical mothers at a million prison gates
we are good at drama

-- July 15, 1999

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