And Should You Feign Resistance

Sodéh Negintaj

you are holding the slide from behind and you think you are holding your
                                                                                   mother from behind
and your suitcase
your nail polish
your crimson sleep mask
the bus ticket
you have left it all, you are gone
tagging along behind you are the professors of fatal phobiology with cleft
                                                                                   breasts beneath their clothes
formal breasts
breasts halted in wool cloaks
those two dear silly queens
and meanwhile a woman with a bullet in her head is walking with someone
                                                                                   in Virginia
talking non-stop of Shiraz sour orange orchards
and should you see old bachelor Rock boys playing in their hope-hole
and the choir, tucked into the wall, boom-booming you away
this is terrifying
this is terrible
you never even dreamed you'd slouch for hours
and exert yourself like a stag for hours
low for hours
smoke cheap crap
pull this and that person's hair
in the pavement / in the wound / in the office bric-a-brac
should you drag your velvet love on your shoulders with all of this and
                         all sorts of other things for a hundred and fifty-eight long days
should you drag firmly and hard
and say oh my love / my Xanax love / my three-headed, tailed love
the world is fucked up / Iran is fucked up / my shoulder is fucked up
and say jump up my love / jump down my love / jump up onto the clouds
                                                                                   my love / jump my love
and should you make a move in the double-pane window, in the sickness
                         of things, in the hall of the flesh and feign resistance
and cry along Sattar-Khan and back
again cry along Sattar-Khan and back
and see a thousand scattered eyes rolling along Sattar-Khan and back
and see yourself
hiding behind the stall sticking your snout out
telling the gendarmes, someone was on his way to his father's mansion, he
                                                                                   went instead to the Milky Way
and you continue: magic? magic is to lie in the grave and not to die of
to slip into new creatures and snitching from beyond them
magic is to witness the exploded stomachs in Naser Khosrow and still feign
and to see a shabby branch of a tree that's feigning resistance itself
and to be dying to be among the disappointed Maracanã crowd
to go to Sarvenaz Alley and go down there
to go to Birds Garden
to go to the final word of creation
and then to go to the last scene of Mouchette and call out to the wagoner
why not?

translated from the Persian by Alireza Taheri Araghi