Our tears are sweet, our laughter venomous.
We’re pleased when sad, and sad when pleased.
We wash one hand in blood, the other we wash the blood off.
We cry as we laugh at the futility of both these acts.
Eight years have passed, we haven’t discovered their meaning.
We have been like children, beyond any account or accounting.
We have broken every stalk, like a wild wind in the garden.
We have picked clean the vine’s candelabra.
And if we found a tree, still standing, defiantly,
we cut its branches, we pulled it by the roots.
We wished for a war, it brought us misery,
now, repentant, we wish for peace.
We pulled wings and heads from bodies,
now, seeking a cure, we are busy grafting.
Will it come to life, will it fly,
the head we attach, the wing we stitch?
(From A Cup Of Sin: Selected Poems by Simin Behbahani, Translated by Farzaneh Milani and Kaveh Safa, University of Syracuse Press, 1999)
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