The Boat That Brought Me

by Azita Ghahreman

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.

The literal translation of this poem was made by Elhum Shakerifar

The final translated version of the poem is by Maura Dooley


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