-Maryam Ala Amjadi

From nowhere

this house is three cigarettes away


They can always sniff it out

from the oil, the fathers don’t bring

and the combats of combs that never run


Short of the sun,

the women’s hair never grows long

And their wombs

are wrinkled balloons

that have never soared for sour grapes


So with all the eggs on our faces

we have deadpan omelets for breakfast

and eat our hearts out of our mouths


Then we creep in to lull our dreamful beds

Heads that sleep around don’t mind wakeful tales


In this house

the windows are doors-

that push faith to fate


and the doors are windows-

as they close on ceilings that floor walls


When owls hoot

We hiss hello to hand down dreams



we gamble goodbye with goats

that bleat escape to front doors


The women draped in curtains

that sift the suns of their faces

always talk of here

that is heard as there


And these bricks have rats

that are never prey to ravens

but gnaw word by word

at our inhuman prayer

to humanize scarecrows



In this house

we hide what we seek

and try to find our loss

tip-toeing on our hands

in our tongue tied shoes


Until the telephone rings a bell

and we know that wireworms

have fished another voice into sounds


And so we saw

what we see

and the sea


in the same boat with us


Yet we breathe in theirs

and brood on mines that explode

into minute seeds

but never hatch into hours

for the second

one of us turns their back

first fingers read the last words

in Braille:


From nowhere

this house is three cigarettes away.