2 Poems by Siavash Saadlou

From Tehran

I am yet another trash,

this poem,

and you—the reader.

Stars have been displaced
by polluted air.

Lives are worth a noose.

Red is associated
only with blood.

Lips are sewn to save
a few more souls.

Two lovers are dying to see
the lights going out
in a blind alley,
so that they can experience
their first kiss.

Explaining an Em Dash in Translation

It’s like,

with the slight bending of a flower,

a morning dew falls—

The earth knows.


don’t you understand?

the wind
and its flailing hands




the broken back

of a tree?

Siavash Saadlou is a writer and literary translator. His fiction has appeared in Margins and his poetry in Scoundreltime and Saint Katherine Review. His translations of contemporary Persian poetry have been published in Washington Square Review, Pilgrimage Press, Visions International and Asymptote, among other journals. Saadlou holds an MFA in creative writing from Saint Mary's College of California, where he was also a teaching fellow. He lives in Tehran, Iran.

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