Behind these eyes that look like mine
old names are fading away, the past lies crumpled in my clenched fist -
a coppery bird in coppery wind,
this vast place has covered me from head to toe.
I am not stripped of word and thought
but sometimes what I want to say gets lost
like a moon smudged with cloud, or when I splutter on a drink.
My tongue trips up when I speak of that journey
though the blood in my veins felt the truth of death.
As I traced my footsteps through the tracery of my old language
Summer whispered to me
and my frozen fingers began to put out shoots
even as I began to love the cold ebb and flow of tides.
Sometimes I miss
the boat that brought me here,
now that I am witness to the icy eyes of a Swedish winter,
under these tired old clouds,
while that suitcase still holds a patch of the sky-blue me.
Azita Ghahreman (born 1962) Iran
Translated by lhum Shakerifar and Maura Dooley
Source: Poetry Translation Centre