Reera Abbasi


And now I know what ails the world: Power

Humility dies on its very own emaciated neck

Even cockroaches rise

Against the sanctity of your body

The world is sated with virus.

Cover my body,

O earthly globe of bread!

When spiders became monkeys

They uprooted my eyes

And I, a woman,

I am a toothless tortoise of leather.

O you refiners of humankind!

I did not get permission to sing hospital songs

For your moonstricken eyes.

Yet, sing I will!

I have been slaughtered in the kosher custom,

Preserved in the giant freezers of Power.

In the giant freezers of Power

I am cut from Adam to the last messenger.

My intestines have the clench of your multiple claws.

Oh homeless homeland!

The roads twist in the misery of pain.

Who is he, the one who tolls the bell of all viruses?

Who is the one who puts a date on our homework

And appoints incidents?

They are reversed,

Yes, reversed.

My girls

Are reversed tortoises

And my men

Have succeeded only in taking their sisters' hand by the teeth.

O equator belt of human loneliness!

Humor with the blood of a thousand corpses?


I am cut down; I have been cut from it all.

Perhaps my mother's masterpiece was this blossomed breast of mine

In the mouth of an open mirror.

Oh what a masterpiece

And what a taste,

That cockroaches do,

I wouldn't know, or don't become

Eternal on a young mirror?

How fearful it is

To compose a poem in delirium

While random viruses of Power

Set fire to your today and tomorrow

In front of your very eyes!

Hello hospitalized Spring!

Your moonward eyes awaited me.

The answer to your question wanders among the morgues.

I am never scared! Never!

I splash a succulent sneeze on your thousand year old sanctity.

My Power is viral,

One that poxes the faces of world Talibans.

Why do they not fear the flow of all waters?

The flow of all voices?

With a few issued statements,

Just a few statements, you can no longer, no longer...

Neighbor means mutual pain

And I stand naked between water and earth

Come, set me on fire or as your female slaves

Iron blaze my lips

No, you have come a lot A lot and in numbers


Hello hospitalized Spring!

Stained dark curtains, stained

On oil

And our mutual neighbor has been robbed from her cushion.

I lie on the oil without a cushion

And the odor of the oil makes me nauseous

Ah, if there were no oil and wine

With what madness, what ardor, could I compose a poem?

I have drawn a curtain between the five beds of the world.

Ailed neighbors and Taliban women sit around me.

They no longer mourn any death.

Perhaps a thousand Afghan mothers

Have set out to scream this smother

As I become a river, a river I say

And flow between the five drowsy beds

O nurse! Keep the lights on

This river has a mission

A mission for all words

A mission with the emaciated neck of this humble one.

Call my nurse,

And take me,

Take me

Take me away from my Muslim neighbors

My dread is no longer blood clotted

My dread is no longer death

But the return of Spring to Autumn.

I burn from fever

And the month of May laughs

I wish there were no teachers in the charter of existence

And my heads and tails thwarted poem

Was just a red flower on those five drowsy beds

O masterwork of Nature!

You made the roof and I made the walls.

I draw the curtain between hatred.

Between hatred,

When trousers robbed mothers

Shriek out sleep,

A sleep with no cushion.


They no longer weep

No longer laugh

They sobbingly laugh out the oil

The stolen trousers, they laugh them out with a sob.

We, ill and defeated

And the general surgeon narrows his eyes

As though there has never been a flag on any patientís desk.

Tonight, I shall take a mirror

To the mothers of robbed trousers.

How broken is this sun, how broken!

I fall, fall apart from its fall.

O human misery,

When, just when would you let go of the mirror?

Translated by: Maryam Ala Amjadi


Dreaming of being dreamt I speak to the water

Lord, it's morning
A woman that I am
I wipe I wash I whack
Forks in foam and filthy burnt trays
A forsaken gun and a fretful woman

A woman, yes, a woman that I am
I whack a wet spoon which turns into an old gun afresh in my hands

I am standing
And the disturbed breasts of the world...
Where am I?
Among mysterious nucleuses
In Iran, in a narrow kitchen
Among middle aged and crooked utensils

Boy! How mysterious is this nuclear power!

War is war
And I stand to equate the unequal

O disturbed children of Iran!
I come madly with this gun that is washed off war
I come to go to war against the nucleus of whatever Sour Cherries the nucleus of whatever Apricots
Laugh go on, laugh as you may
I spit on the nucleus of all Apples all Peaches

Ah Human! Where is your nucleus?

Where? Just where?

The sound of water meets the voice of the woman
Tell me boy, just how much blood must she wash from the fork of her forearms, this woman, this woman, this?
-Gentlemen, may I offer you some toothpicks?
The disturbed woman is a poet in the corner of a disturbed house
A narrow kitchen narrower than hair thinner than fine glass that is who I am I who break
In a disturbed land from you from grasshoppers from us that is I
It is me who has foamed up her own existence
It has come up come up these dregs of my subsistence

O guns and rifles!
Where am I? Where is this place that there are no lights to candles
And no dance of the butterflies?
O veiled windows!
What do the civilized women of this city do?
Roast wild rue and bundle up the city behind their backs
They have shut up the children to thrive on dreams of smoke

Lord, it's morning
How fast they grow
At these crossroads that lead only to dead-ends
These versatile prostitutes of a child
How fast
In the day the duress the begging
In the night the duress the prostitution
How fast
They all become great and grand on this street
But for whom? And for what?

-Excuse me Miss, do you work too?
-Everyone works here. Everyone is worked into everything, Sir!
Take heed of your mirror Tie your belt
Would you like some toothpicks?

-Miss, what a city! The houses are full of puddles the streets are long
-Mommy, do you work too?
I am a woman I whack I yell into the whoop of all ears

All these plates have cut lips

Ah Lord, it's noon
How long should I stand here until death and fill up stomachs pot by pot
with pain with loss with death

Where can I sit to think of the Universe for a bit, for a while?
The war is a war between sea beds and the floors of heavens

Shush! Shush!

You have sewn hands to my lips

Ah, I am shushed, I am hissed
Ah, I am a mad mad poet unnoticed

I have washed the Nuclear Arms with dish washing detergent
Should I dry it and hand it over to you now?

Now go on and clap, just clap go on and laugh, just laugh

I have thrown up foam
Perhaps I have died in sleep from all these bubbles

Gentlemen, gentlemen, would you like some toothpicks?

Lord, it's morning
The is no horse to trap me into the sea
No star to make me proud of the meadows
And no peace in this city to pacify me
But let me tell you, it is night! I am quiet
And the toothpicks are under my head

They say I am a human being
I who know where things are,
From the museum to the kitchen
From the chapel that is holy to the morgue which I do not know is what
How very well I know that in a disturbed land
God did not even grant me the fair share of a chair
So that I would, I could sit in pleasure in pleasure it is in pleasure of sitting
Not washing and thinking, thinking of being

Lord, it's morning
My place is in the pharmacy in the kitchen in a disturbed morgue

War escape war escape war escape

-Gentlemen, I was the Cossette of Les Miserables! My motherís memento
Between some disturbed homework
I stole Edison in candlelight from hunger

See, how I have thrived from starvation
For a disturbed girl whose breasts laughed at the womb of all apples
Laughed at a disturbed house
With a Charlie dance that laughed as much at her lord above

By the way, did Charlie suffer from Rickets?

Lord, it's morning
A woman that I am I whack myself into the lanes of oblivion

You know what? I love penguins
I love Charlie dances
And my mother too, I love...

My mother was a tired Charlie with open thighs
And in her desire to reach the Lord
She brought fourteen saints into this world

Lord, it's morning
My house is on foam
I can smell Halabcheh in Hiroshima
Yes, I can
Halabceh in Hiroshima

Lord, it's morning
Sew hands to my lips
But plant my being once again.


When you are a woman
You take your ears to the sea
And buy a pair of earrings from her
When you are a woman
On water
On waves
You give yourself altogether

When you are a woman
At the sound of sparrows and starlings
You laugh a bird you jump a starling
When you are a woman
You are a fisherman's net in love with the sea
You weave Leila into Majnoon

Today, when as a whole I became a woman My shoes were blue
My skirt was watery blue
My hair blue, water blue
The mole under my chin was also blue
My head under the water, blue as blue

A drop of a woman I became
and trickled down the earrings of the sea

Rira Abbasi
Translation: Maryam Ala Amjadi

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