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Leaving: the Poem

ISSUE:  Spring 1981
All night something was telling my heart
“How excited you are to see him
When the stars whiten at dawn
he will leave, he will leave—hold him hard”

Lost to the world I was with the scent of you
heedless of morning’s betrayal
Over my fine lashes
your eyes pouring powdered gold
My body burning beneath your touch
my hair abandoned to your breath
I blossomed in love and I said
“She who gives her heart to her love
never thinks of ways to hurt him
Let him go, my eyes will follow him
Let him go, my love will keep him”

* * * * *

Now you’re gone and, ah, the twilight
sheds shadows across the breast of the road
Soft the dark god of sorrow softly
steps into the chapel of my searching eyes
and writes on each wall
black words all black

Translated from the Persian by Jascha Kessler with Amin Banani


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