CONVERSATION IN THE DARK, BY NADER NADERPOUR, LOS ANGELES, DECEMBER 1999. TRANSLATED BY FARHAD MAFIE, JUNE 2000.
To: My Dear Jaleh
In the middle of the night when I am sick and awake
there is no familiar light from any opening
the calm sound of your deep breathing
and the continuous ticking of the clock
harmonize with the rhythm of my heartbeat.
Then I realize that even though my thoughts are lonesome
my heart is no longer lonesome in my chest.
Slowly I bend my head over your bed
I kiss your sleep-filled eyelashes softly
You feel the weight of the kiss on your eye
You smile and I patiently kiss your cheek
Even though your laughter spreads in my ears.
But in the dark waves of the night
your smiling face is not obvious.
I calmly light a match
to light up your face from its illumination
But very soon that red sparking phosphor
falling and rising on my two burning fingers
dies in kinks and twists of dancing.
Once again the space of our small bedroom
is overcome with darkness.
I tell myself except for a short time,
at the moment of seeing your dear face:
my eyes don't have a chance of seeing you.
Just like a child frightened by darkness.
I find my way to your arms.
Terrified by something unknown.
I whisper this secret in your ears:
O! Kinder than the world's kindest!
O fellow-traveler! O friend! O sweetheart! O mother!
Scream so loudly that even the heavy death of the heart
Won't be able to separate us at the moment of farewell
Because we both know, in the chaos of the world
from the crowded population
from what exists in the endless horizon
our lot is just our solitude
This house smaller than a boat
We its distressed passengers
Moving forward in the wide sea of exile
But in the frightening horizon of this sea
Night is overwhelming,
From every vicious side there is no path to tomorrow.