Still dark. A rope and torn nails. Emptiness beneath steps. I’m innocent. Stares. Faceless women in black.
The early morning of a summer of burning suns. My father pushes the crowd. The crowd is pushing me. I slip through the legs, hips and shoulders to find a gap. I rise and don’t reach. I walk and don’t move. I sit on the dusty road. Nothing happens. I am bored. I look for the green pebbles or blue. I want to make a wall around me. Half sky, half forest. But the world has only grey pebbles.
The brutality of a rope. Someone pushes me inside a hole. I stretch. My legs hurt. I weigh one million. She isn’t coming.
A straight line of ants follow each other from one hole to another. I admire their obedience. A half cigarette on the ground burns. My toes push it closer to the line of marching ants. They panic. I am filled with the pleasure of breaking the rules. Someone crashes an ant.
My eyes sweat. My hands touch the coldness of my wet shirt. I’m cold. I never told you the truth. Where are you? I’ve killed for you.
I hold cigarette’s burning side by my chosen ant, escaping. The doomed insect shivers and melts and flies like a little bird, only for this one millennium of a second. Awaiting a peaceful end, the time moves and the ant’s hollow shell smokes without a sound. The wind holds the invisible ashes. The rhythmic commotion of insects, and the harmony of the voyeurs grasping the immorality of an execution. How difficult is to restore order out of this vain extent of chaos?
Nobody’s watching. She isn’t here. I’ve died alone. Where is heaven?
My father stands by me. His shadow protects my innocent games. I find another ant, and still another. I am sick. The tang of acid formic in the air, on my tongue. I decide to believe in heaven, filled with infinite lines of striding ants, carrying food, following the line, keeping the order, having a purpose. The sound of cheers and then, something falls. The breeze forms this ambiguous dance of hanging legs, blessed or wicked. The macabre sound of a weeping woman, unnamed in black chador, silences the crowd. I look down. No more ants. Only two empty holes. My father caresses my hair and whispers: “Don’t watch. Don’t watch.”
Dead? Not yet. A cry, a weep, she’s here. Watch me now. I’m still alive. The sun is all red, shining beneath my feet. And the sky, colorless, in my fist. I fall. I’m inside the dead leaves of past autumns. Vanishing. I’m weightless. A wall painted in green and blue is rising, half ocean, half earth. I’m enfolded. I inhale and don’t breathe. It’s heaven.
“I watch Father, I watch, but I don’t see.”
*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Ali Mahin Torabi is facing the death sentence for a murder he had not
committed. He has spent the last five years of his life—since he was 16
years old--in a prison, waiting for his execution>>>CAN I SAVE HIM?
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