WHAT MEETS THE EYE MAY RUN FROM THE MOUTH

A POEM BY MARYAM ALA AMJADI

 A woman can never truly be naked  she wears a skin of many restless pores  where the ajar eyes of those who behold her rest,  half opened to the push of the mirror’s wooden tongue  half closed on the pull of time’s furtive caress,  and when no one looks her way,  she begins to grope in the thirsty wells of history for the split ends of her hair  her first finger ringed in the wounded eye of faith’s one bladed scissor  her last hope tied to the hearty hunger that weighs precisely empty in the full trays of her breasts  then she shells the distant eyes of fate from the watery lines of her tell-tale palms  and plants them near the shredded hymns of her ears in the earthy back of her head  her shadows ever wary of the dry insistence of walls to reflect,  her inner shapes ever hushed by the wet winks of shame  Is it real? Is it hers?  She is always too big too small too tall too short too hot too cold too young too old  She is always too many things in too many ways  Even the looking glass means one woman as many, on any mercurial end     A woman can never truly be naked  When she unbuttons the spring of her dress, a thousand apple seeds fall through  and the invisible serpent that belts the bidding of her waist  and the verses of deny and the laws of sigh that are tattooed on the will of her hands and her legs  draped in the gifts of “No!” and “No!” and “No!” that will only be unwrapped as “Yes,”  she combs for the trail of a home in the wrinkles of stone-faced houses     There are no maps for the geography of darkness  Tell me, where is the mouth of that word, the one that could kiss the eyes of this page  and not blind them?      Artwork © MARYAM IZADIFARD

A woman can never truly be naked

she wears a skin of many restless pores

where the ajar eyes of those who behold her rest,

half opened to the push of the mirror’s wooden tongue

half closed on the pull of time’s furtive caress,

and when no one looks her way,

she begins to grope in the thirsty wells of history for the split ends of her hair

her first finger ringed in the wounded eye of faith’s one bladed scissor

her last hope tied to the hearty hunger that weighs precisely empty in the full trays of her breasts

then she shells the distant eyes of fate from the watery lines of her tell-tale palms

and plants them near the shredded hymns of her ears in the earthy back of her head

her shadows ever wary of the dry insistence of walls to reflect,

her inner shapes ever hushed by the wet winks of shame

Is it real? Is it hers?

She is always too big too small too tall too short too hot too cold too young too old

She is always too many things in too many ways

Even the looking glass means one woman as many, on any mercurial end

 

A woman can never truly be naked

When she unbuttons the spring of her dress, a thousand apple seeds fall through

and the invisible serpent that belts the bidding of her waist

and the verses of deny and the laws of sigh that are tattooed on the will of her hands and her legs

draped in the gifts of “No!” and “No!” and “No!” that will only be unwrapped as “Yes,”

she combs for the trail of a home in the wrinkles of stone-faced houses

 

There are no maps for the geography of darkness

Tell me, where is the mouth of that word, the one that could kiss the eyes of this page

and not blind them?

 

Artwork © MARYAM IZADIFARD

HYSTERIAComment