Message to Forough Farrokhzad
Having forgotten the taste of love on the mouth
I no longer knew how far a person can fly
and how she can breathe with only one lung choking
like to a blind fish that spends its life
in the dark depths of the seas.
Ever since your words ran through my head
I walk their streets.
I write with my eyes aiming at the dreamy horizon
waiting to become the way I want and to drop the weight
of faded words that I’m tired of dragging
on worn sidewalks and roads that no one travels.
I look at you, Oh Forough, and see my sadness in your eyes
I see the name of love on your forehead
as time crashes on everything you wrote
regardless of what has passed since your bright death.
I look at the legacy of the free poems you left behind
those that escaped the ugliness and horror of censorship
and say perhaps one day
I will write my free poem.
I wrote a lot
as though a huge inkwell were spilling
inside me every night.
I wrote about oblivion and how easy it is to die here
of burnt wishes and sad love.
I took words from my head and with them heaven and earth I did wander.
I crossed the mountains like a fiery and bright bolt of lightning!
The creatures slept and got up while I kept
walking inside my little storm
inside my old house, inside my body trembling
like a seal, my mouth stained with blood and fear.
I put the letters on the ground and so many trees sprouted
in their shadow a little poem slept
the one who loved you without end.
Instead of fracturing, I put a temporary brace on my heart
instead of stations, I prefer bewilderment
there is no arrival without crumbling.
Love is a deadly substance
to survive, write it down and don’t believe it
rest your head, put it in a jug and throw it into the sea
To feel something like patience
I had to drink the juice of fire
crumble up crises according to the measure of the days
I shouldn’t have loved you
I walk the path of perdition
I write like the possessed
I gaze at you from afar
I leave my book at your door
The sound of weeping is louder than the sound of the flute
the camel and its cargo are on the fleeing ship
fire on the heads
war is knocking on the doors of the poor
we are we truly alive
Only that joy that makes a ruined, heart, an old one full of dust,
shine with happiness on strange days
love bites into its apple and spits it out as a slanderous insult
it gets lost on the streets and eventually fades away
like a candle in a single blow of air.
I took fear from your hand, and from your days that stinging pinch
I took a pile of unknown gray, seven stones and seven waves
it was of no use
nothing but yielding and great narrow-mindedness
as if I had become a single feature of everything
I circle around myself like the possessed
I bind my head with amulets and my body with curses
I suspend my question between heaven and earth
what was born first love or sadness?
Who lit the fire by dragging humanity into ambiguity
who called it love, who described it as sadness?
On man’s forehead are engraved
lowercase letters that no one sees
from which, like well springs, all words descend.
The blind spot
The days are the same
we sleep in terror and wake up in front of ruins.
Nothing is useful in this rotten corner of the world
this blind spot called Libya
this sleeper on a big mine that doesn’t quit exploding.
Ramadan or Eid, what difference does it make!
The dead have no Eid
we are the dead walking the streets
dragging the days
and nothing shows the light.
We are not well every year
we are the last epidemic.
Samira Albouzedi, born in 1969 in Tripoli (Libya,) has been writing poetry and publishing since 1994. She has published in national newspapers and magazines and in those of the Arab world, has participated in many poetry meetings in Libya and abroad, her work has been analyzed in several papers. She has participated in many festivals and conferences including the Sète festival in France, and has been panelist in conferences in Tunisia and Morocco. Her works include : under air raids, the door of the dream , the world awakens in a fright.
Cover artwork by Mubeen Kishany