High Tide of the Eyes

Bijan Elahi


All these roads would end in white
if they replied to you.

Your birthplace, you knew, was a town
bigger than your heart
that left you without reply.

A woman’s lips blossom
in a town smaller than hearts.
A woman’s lips end in white,
to the cold cheeks of the year’s martyrs,
my cold cheek was a sun
that did not reply.

I Laugh for You

The black locust, angel of the poor,
is preparing for us
her cool evening drink.
I bend over you:
your skin
moves like breeze and water beasts.
The air is a cup of the spirit
of a burning and witnessing moth
between a thousand suns and a thousand shadows of you.

You are the white corn husks of my childhood
that I glean again.
You are my first fingers.
The poor laugh
beside green cucumber bushes.
Do you see how naked I am?
My umbilical cord is uncut.
Like a new birth, my love is
slimy and bloody.
I laugh for you.

The houses nearby
are lit earlier.
The air between thousands of lamps
and thousands of your shadows near and far
rises in ash.

They had grown me,
had grown me to surround me
by hasty suns.
You passed and picked me so smoothly
that I touched the breeze
in your hands.
You witnessed the sun and the air,
with breeze in your burning red hair.
The water beasts
went to sleep quietly
and each one of them touched
your clear blood
in their dreams.
You became a face
I gazed at
gaze at.
Like a new birth, my love is
still slimy and bloody.
for indeed the small yards
will be covered by insects and light.
I laugh for you.

I laugh for you.
The black locust
receives us today
with cool evening drink.

translated from the Persian by Rebecca Ruth Gould and Kayvan Tahmasebian