A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Sometimes we visit the moon
And then forget
It’s sitting up there
I was fifteen years old
When I found the moon in the Biabanak sand dunes.
I was traveling from Nain to Jandaq
Sitting at the back of a pickup with a worker
And smoking my first cigarette.
Every sand hill in the moonlight
Looked like a sleeping ghoul.
The worker spoke of working in the Nakhlak Mine
And I wanted to become a miner
So as did Vincent Van Gogh
I could take out my red gold
From the heart of the earth.
Years later I found the moon again.
We were passing from behind the border patrol checkpoint
Alongside Kurdish guides
To reach the city of Van in Turkey
When suddenly the big disk of the moon appeared.
I shouted: “Oh, moon!
You are the sign of my freedom”
And sang the song of “High Moon”
Which my mother used to sing.
We were leaving to remain free
And find a new vision
In the cities of Europe and America.
Last night I saw the moon again.
We were returning from Catalina Island.
With my fifteen-year-old son Azad
I went to the deck
To watch whales
But we saw nothing
Except the reflection of the moon in the water.
Suddenly I remembered my father
Telling us that at age fourteen
While returning from Takht Pulad Cemetery in Isfahan
He had been taken by the magic of the moon
And infinity had touched his soul.
Then my son returned to the cabin
Leaving me alone on the deck.
The moon was the only link
The pieces of my life.
Copyright 2019 Majid Naficy