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Caspian Sea, by Leila Farjami

Once,

she held me

in her rippling arms,

soft Mother,

breathing her buoyant,

murmuring life

into my little body.


Her shores stretched

like dark fields of wheat.


When I was nine,

she almost drowned me.


After the revolution,

I was banned from entering

unless

Fully Clothed.


The IRI’s uniformed men

parted her with a thick black curtain

that ran a hundred meters long:

a women’s area

bordered by Sharia law.


I remember her

yielding bed,

tangling kelp stalks,

brine, filling my mouth


the night

I said goodbye

before leaving for America,

as she swept refugee bodies

to her shoreline—

a sea of cold eulogy

and stone.

Hard years have turned her into

an infinite liquid shroud—

her hunched spines, Russian-seized limbs,

fuel-drilled organs,

womb of toxic goo.

Will she ever remember

her name?



Ceramic art woman
Dancing Woman, by Sara Rubin

 

Leila Farjami is a poet, literary translator, and psychotherapist. In addition to publishing seven poetry books in Persian, her work has appeared in Hey, I’m Alive, Nimrod Journal, Poetry Porch, and Saint Ann’s Review; was published by Tupelo Press for their 30/30 Project; and has been translated into Swedish, Arabic, Turkish, and French. Leila has appeared in poetry readings and on Persian TV and radio interviews about her poetry. She studies poetry with Rachel Kann, enjoys translating sacred poetry by Rumi into English, and has translated a comprehensive volume of Sylvia Plath’s poetry into Persian.

 

Sara Rubin is a clay artist who, as the founder of a family business, designs and makes glazed, high-fired art pieces, and sells at craft festivals and shops throughout the country. This is her debut art publication.

 

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