Poem from Afghanistan

I Do Not Believe

My beloved if
Death be here for you
Let it be in tuberculosis’ form
Or the form of bitter cold,
Not as prey of suicide bombing.

You should have the time
To review your memories,
To review the particulars of your body,
To make plans for your departure.
Not to depart the house on your feet
And we only find your shoes in the bazaar.
Not to ever find your hands or your smile.
Never to locate your eyes.

With my own eyes I ought to
Witness your death, your final breath.
My fingers should touch your eyelids to close.
Otherwise, no one will believe it, forever
I myself will not believe it.


by Elyas Alavi, translated by Fatemeh Shams and Leonard Schwartz, and more here.