from Doubt itself is a belief

Ava Koohbor


          In the hut of the heart

                    silent pleasures of freedom

               chained in a castle

                         rhythmic beats of dance hammering down all round

                                   handful of soil

                      yet fertile

                                              acres of desert

                                         barren but for snake and low leaf

          instant visionary meeting between soul and oversoul

          hints of afterlife

                                                        plotting and planning out decades ahead

                                                        comes to nothing

                         splash from out rushing mountain spring

                                                                                            so refreshing

          parched lips

                                                    ocean upon ocean

                                                                                            no answer


          Yes       Yes       [ ay       ay ]

          I write bitter

                            I speak sweet

                            I cry salty

          To say

          I have savored all of life's entrées

          in but one lifetime's sitting

          yet my heart grumbles

                                         tell me love

                            what's in yr taste?


          A game of backgammon

                                            Such regret

                                                             finding rough rock

                                            under the hands

                                                                          to know

                                            the pain of a solitary cry


                                            all of one's identity

                                            lost on love's board

translated from the Persian by Patrick James Dunagan and Ava Koohbor