by Suhrab Sirat, translated by Divya Mehrish
I am soul, eyes my shadow haunts
my dreams wounds these dreams:
nights of wet mirrors; lips pressed against
reflection; I kiss my lips, I kiss my eyes.
My lips are wounded. I am a time
of poison: each season reckons
the cost of my survival. Scorpio pierces
and Libra passes and I am alone.
When I call myself Sagittarius in sleep,
I dream of Cupid—angel boy, love
is an angel. I am wounded. The earth
between my toes, between lips spins
on the axis of the bull’s horns. Hearts—
we have hearts; this is a heart;
you have heart. Now, I have lost
my heart—wounded. What if I told you
this earth lost my heart? What if
I told you my heart lost this earth?
Child of no country, of no earth. I bury
myself in lips—I am alone. Who
knew home could wound? My home
is wounded. The alphabet in fingertips
fades into dust and blood, my eyes
see blood, my eyes are blood.
I talk into empty palms, into tired,
empty hands. When help hibernates,
when conscience is dormant,
the light in my cheeks, the life
in my eyes dies a little. I am
wounded by all that I own; all
that is mine is wounded. Stripped
of this language, this tongue,
these dreams, these memories,
these prayers, this name—Suhrab—
I am wounded. I carry these
wounds on the shoulder of my soul.