Land of Wounds

by Crystal Peng

by Suhrab Sirat, translated by Crystal Peng

I am soul
       gaze, ghost, & slumber
                                           my nights are sullen, wounded
       when I kiss myself in dim mirror
                                                 my lips are gushed & swollen, wounded

I am years
       stitched with poison
                                                 simmered in unseasoned autumnal winds
       my Libra pierced holey holy
             Sagittarius taxidermied
             Scorpio frozen, liberty stolen
                                                                   wounded

Moaning bulls have drawn & quartered
my earth pawing at bleeding dirt
                                                                   & hounding
       my heart! dear heart—
                                           dear dired heart!— swamped with muck
                                           shipwrecken wounded

Make me a grave & let me Mourn
       let me Mourn in the coffin
       Mourn for
                                                 my country let me
                                                             Mourn for my motherland
Mourn for the skyless me! —Mourn also for my mired &
                                                 ageless star, scarstricken wounded

Scrawled phrases
       unsnared from homeworks
                                                                   inks unbonded
page after page
                               my knowledge is bloodied & ashen
                                                                                                 wounded

Amongst
       sheeples with slumbered ethos
       I’ve withered
mind snuffed
                                     psyche askewed
                                                                   will deaden & wounded

From cradle to grave
                               I carry
                                                 only cursed wounds—
       name & tongue & memory & bruisy god—
                                                                   all marred & burdened
wounded, wounded, wounded!