The Persian poet Majid Naficy draws on his memory of political terror to evoke present-day emotions caused by the virus.

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Majid Naficy

The Persian poet Majid Naficy draws on his memory of political terror to evoke present-day emotions caused by the virus.

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Waiting for My Turn

By Majid Naficy

After two weeks of staying at home
I go at dawn to the street again
For stair-climbing.

The stairway has been boarded up.
There is no one on the street
And only the wind talks with leaves.

I remember that year when in Tehran
My comrades were shot one by one
And buried without any gravestones
In the Cemetery of the Infidels.

First was Sadeq,
Who had a charming smile.
I visited his grave with Ezzat.
Second was Ezzat,
Who had passionate eyes.
I visited her grave with Hossein.
Third was Hossein,
Who had strong hands.

I visited no other graves,
Escaped from one house to another
And finally crossed the border.

But now where can I escape
From this world-wide pandemic?
This time I must stay home
And wait for my turn.

Majid Naficy, the Arthur Rimbaud of Persian poetry, fled Iran in 1983, a year and a half after the execution of his wife, Ezzat in Tehran. Since 1984 Majid has been living in West Los Angeles. He has published two collections of poetry in English Muddy Shoes (Beyond Baroque, Books, 1999) and Father and Son (Red Hen Press, 2003) as well as his doctoral dissertation at UCLA Modernism and Ideology in Persian Literature: A Return to Nature in the Poetry of Nima Yushij (University Press of America, 1997). Majid has also published more than twenty books of poetry and essay in Persian.

              

 

 
 

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