A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
A mullah censor says that the body parts of women Must be omitted from couplets of my book Like this couplet which I heard Fifty years ago in the village of Pudeh: “From the hillside there comes a group of girls All with white breasts like doves. May God not bless their mother Who did not let me kiss their lips.” My publisher does not know whether to laugh or cry. So he replaces “breasts” and “lips” With dot dot dot. But the mullah censor does not accept the dots Because they are the signs of empty places. Suddenly, I remember Ezzat Who was shot in Evin Prison And buried in the Cemetery of the Infidels In a mass grave without any gravestones. No! No! My dear publisher! Do not cover this empty place, Let the dots remain Otherwise, no one will know tomorrow That in my book Love has been torn To pieces.
Majid Naficy is a Persian-American poet living in Los Angeles. His books include Father & Son (Red Hen, 2003).