What Heavens

Translated from the Persian by Siavash Saadlou

What Heavens

Of you and the pillow lit up by
lemon lights, which one went on
a voyage? The nose of bedsheets lost
sight of the space shuttles of magnetism
in these heavens.

What heavens!

The curvy flights of yearning;
a silky crow; a golden umbrella;
a train rushing past the wet brush;
the pillow curling up the same way
you fall asleep—so, let us forgo this
old meeting. Let us put the bedsheets
and pillows back in the closet.

Hail thy body!

With its fingertips, the autumn keeps
sending out kisses to the skin
of the earth’s girls, to the golden
bobs dancing between the niqab
and the forehead.

Where is airport in the heavens
of this bed? Where are the awnings
of accident, with their stairs of silver
and ivory that no matter how far
I walk them down, I can’t reach
the ground?
Which one went on a voyage?
Which wind made the silky gold
and last night’s ebony crêpe?

My Homeland

A dream of its own and a kiss
on its own lips, my homeland—
on the curve of dawn—is the rain’s
little daughter sipping from a rose;
my resort, a tune welcoming
travelers—its roads fragrant
with footprints. The sign of a destination
or the witch of wonder, Jaliziana.
An isle with sweet and salty streams;
an ear and an earring;
a ring and a finger;
a thirst and a quench.
It is its own landscape and
its own bouquet by the window.

In such balmy weather,
a poem would be reminding
of a chat in the midst of lovemaking.

O, you, the land of shade
and light, my scented noon,
I am returning to you from you,
seeking the thirst you
gift us, the thirst of

Winter for Love

Two pieces of clothing
have scattered over the chair,
reminiscent of your nakedness,
the heater’s airway that you shut
against the winter. Maybe next spring
comes our ascension towards the azure sky.

When you recall our old tale, this bed
will turn into Solomon’s Magic Carpet.
If I ever feel like embracing you there, I won’t
have to reach out to your body with my hands.
Winter is a season made for falling
in love, for the seed of winter
blossoms in the spring.

O, the once-played hoops.
O, the wooden horses.
O, the lost fragments of fragrance;
let there be no questions where
the peony relives the memory of the rose.
When every funeral is a replica of weariness,
we will redefine, with a new question,
the loveless times alongside lovers that
are gone, like the sudden emerging
of a graceful girl—a flower, with its dewy
spirit, and roller shoes across the ring road.

The bed and the kiss are still the same,
with a few pieces of clothing resting
on the chair; two half-full goblets,
a dying candle, the dream of a winter dawn,
a tender awakening.
There must be such a day on
the other side of immortality,
a day so short and happy.


Translated from the Ukrainian by Hanna Leliv