Translated by Saba Vasefi





Like a self-sowing seed

for thirty-five years,

devoid of a canopy,

poverty was a ceiling

and tears were my pillow.


Wherever the wind leads me, 

in every place

I have sought sanctuary 

in my own arms.


Wounds once swallowed

now lodged in my throat,

they are aging  

yet, life owes me a dressing 

to heal young pain.


My six-year-old flesh, 

chastised beneath sexual advancement.

Forensic eyes failed to attain,

a terrain of suffering.


My mother, ensnared by addiction 

my father, hungover with his own pain

our home, perpetually intoxicated

its head veiled 

by swirling smoke.


No doll to hold,

all I had, a razor's edge

for motherhood

to rip the sorrow I bear.




I wrapped the belt of my bruises

around a torn suitcase

I hit the sea

salty air washed

my face of fear.


Ocean's heart, 

engulfed in fluid black,

rowing on tar, 

countless hours in sway,

we finally arrived.

From my imagination, I had to leave 

and since then I had to smile again 

at sullen and indifferent faces

exiling me from one detention to another.


By fences I sat, beside them I spoke,

my schizophrenia, 

but solace was fleeting, 

exile returned, and pulled me in.

A handcuffed landing in the mental hospital din.

Morning's diaper, a daily injection's sting,

sleep's fleeting respite, to tomorrow's wing.




My life, a cyclic drama, 

shifting cast, themes repeat.

The next season of crackdown drew near,

deported from the mental hospital

into a high security camp.

Mullahs replaced, immigration officers 

for love outside bounds, it did enquire,

questioning for pregnancies, out of wedlock,

no stoning, yet separation's knock.


My illicit pregnancy, a bestowed grace,

one embryo vanished, another held its place,

when his father abandoned me,

a new resilience bloomed within.

Alone I walked all seasons of exile,

flip-flops my companions, mile after mile,

I gazed upon power's figure,

humanitarian saviors, NGOs they say,

untouched by humanity's rays.


From delivery room

back to detention 

to breed love, behind the bars.

Our heartbeats danced in tune,

our unity, a shield.

I transcend gloom,

beyond punishment, pain and expulsion 

resolute, unswayed, unafraid

I treasure resistance.