Poetry Suite by Shabnam Piryaei

Editor Carrie Seitzinger, Poetry, May 30th, 2016

"the oven hangs open like an interrupted sentence."

Shabnam Piryaei poet poems NAILED Magazine
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sigheh
 

there is mint, a broken glass
and the sound of drowning
in a milk-filled pond

there is the amputated scream
whose tendrils only dare
to imagine
your mouth

there is the cold engine
of the white light
that becomes a room
the insistence of alone
even as his fist
slips in your blood

in the brutal anonymity
of your last night on earth
there is your tooth
planting itself in your tongue
a hysterical declaration of rebirth.

mohammad
is your son
and pointing to goldfish he shrieks
lamp
overthrown by their light.

+ + +

there is no separate survival

 

twelve, you stood unstartled as
goldfish burst like capillaries
in your plastic water-filled bag.

the soldier, fumbling, dropped
mints into the empty gape
of your bucket, compromised
by the anchor of your linger.

……………………the night they hunted you
……………………from your bed into the water,
……………………zippers chafing— eels
……………………careening through the ebony—
……………………sowing their garbage-fisted scald,
……………………their elemental theft,
……………………half drowned
……………………you summoned a wire of light
……………………on the dusty underside of a bench.

……………………all that morning you had been waiting
……………………for the first slow fruit
……………………of a slender apricot tree.

+ + +

painting of a woman I imagine

 

the oven hangs open like an interrupted sentence.
uncovered marmalade hardens at the edges, exposed.

as a girl you lamented
that satin ribbons slip open
too easily unless they are choked,
ruined, in their knotting.
as a girl it slipped each time
he put it on your lips. you memorized
the command of its potential weight.

on a partially set table
a green stone
smoother than slow-curved glass thighs.

somehow unbroken
in your sleeping hand, a speckled egg.

+ + +

I want to save you, said the bear

 

Even as morning yawns its angled
chord across a lone black tree on one
gilded shoulder of the earth, inside
her cabin self-selected momma bear
braids nervously the rug ends,
surveilling adopted cubs—her
elders—for mortalities of joy. At
night a field of frogs scrapes
checkered concerts for head-nodding
spirits, a moonlit resonance. But bear
clutches her quilt, wide-eyed,
depositing strict rituals against faint
demons. Fox slides her letters in the
night, perfumed entreaties for
strawberries nestled in a loose, gentle
fist and frost along the gillslits of
morning. But bear cowers at the
enormity of violence in every open
declaration. Now cane-addled and
sparse-furred, bear discurses strictly
with her shadows, a stalking map of
expired losses. At the pond where
tadpoles flutter electric in the murk,
the oldest water making another baby,
tender and tangled cubs wrestle on
dew-slick grass, pad-footed and
raucously laughing in their plunge.

+ + +

Header image courtesy of Alyssa Monks. To view a gallery of her painting on NAILED, go here.

Shabnam Piryaei poet poems NAILED MagazineShabnam Piryaei is the author of the books ODE TO FRAGILE (Plain View Press, 2010), FORWARD (MUSEUM Books, 2014), and NOTHING IS WASTED (The Operating System, forthcoming, 2017). She has also written and directed poetry-films that have screened at festivals and galleries the U.S. and internationally.

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Carrie Seitzinger

Carrie Seitzinger is Editor-in-Cheif and Co-Publisher of NAILED. She is the author of the book, Fall Ill Medicine, which was named a 2013 Finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Seitzinger is also Co-Publisher of Small Doggies Press.
Learn more about her at her official site.