Poems on Politics
They Kill the Butterflies
Parvaneh means butterfly in Farsi
My second sister, Parvaneh,
Disappeared for a month;
The Revolutionary Guards took her.
Marked and sealed
A silent woman.
In my dreams I hear
Her voice, screaming
in a torture chamber.
I see the electrodes on her naked body.
I see the jolt of pain and terror.
In the dark and sinister prison grounds
Where they take the women at night,
I put my body down next to her body
I hold her injured body gently.
In tenderness, I say: Fly away my butterfly, fly away.
Thirty years before when my sister
Was flying home, her airplane
Crashlanded on the Mediterranean Sea.
How I waited for her.
How I cried.
I waited for you in the house,
At the door, in the garden,
On the curbside
How I wanted you
Turn, turn into a fish
Before my eyes.
I will paint you a sea,
I will paint you an island,
I will paint you a ship,
I will paint you a home,
I will paint your daughters,
Coral and Eyelashes.
I will paint you in the middle.
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:: Logo woodcut by Barbara Leventhal-Stern