Translated from Persian by Sholeh Wolpé
Sometimes she forgets
she is painfully the same
as stagnant water,
she has the right to exist.
a photo portrait’s listless rage,
whose longing for movement
melts in her paper eyes.
this woman whose casket is washed over
by a flowing red moon,
she whose body’s thousand-year sleep
is perturbed by the night’s stormy scent.
this woman who’s crumbling inside,
but whose eyelids tingle still with dreams of light,
whose useless hair still quivers hopelessly,
infiltrated by love’s breath.
People of the land of plain joys,
you who have opened your windows to the rain,
forgive because she is bewitched,
because your lives’ fertile roots
burrow into her exiled soil and pound
with envy’s rod her naive heart,
until it swells.
(From Sin—Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad, edited and translated by Sholeh Wolpé, University of Arkansas Press, 2007)
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