..... Ehsan Akbari

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Memory Hole

I am walking through the same winding trail,
that Iíve been walking everyday for the past year, home.
Behind a concrete wall,
the convoluted grind of traffic hisses a river of locomotives into existence.
Somewhere high in air, behind my head and to the left
The trickling grind of a cicada saws the air
The same sound is oozing out of a tree somewhere,
slightly above ear-level and to the right.

A thousand more resonating specks fill the ambience
Like an aural turning night of stars.
Filing the trail, lamps tower into empty air
blazing blackened branches
In hazy, fiery emerald.
A far, a crescent moon burns a hole through the sky

I follow the cadence of my feet and slip into the moment
Finding myself 5 years ago.

Itís the same trickling aural summer-night
Iím under the same hazy emerald,
thatís shaking the breeze

Iím lying next to Sanaz, in the park behind her house.
Our hearts feasting on the same plate of love
Or was it love? It could have been the simplicity of being present
In a moment. Silent, still, inside the moment.

My mouth begins to move and I find myself
Staring down fish swimming in a marble pool
My grandfather is here, watering his beloved plants
with dignified exuberance
behind me, my uncles are tossing a badminton birdie about
My dead uncle, too is here
Laughing, his weightless, chirpy laugh

He takes my hand and we slip into another moment.
We are walking outside a football stadium.
His heart is heavy from his teams defeat
And full of paranoia
From soldiers patrolling the streets

The same soldiers that would eventually find him
drag him off, dress him up for their fuck-headed fatal games
and return him, a corpse. To his family.

I sit in front of his martyr portrait
Gloating in the strangers gawking eyes
And cry my 8 year old bones dry.

Too young to have to learn such lessons.
Too young to understand it.

Itís funny how two years ago, visiting my grandparents
After 15years of diaspora;
after 15years in which our existence to each other were a few photographs
and muffled voices over the telephone.
How my grandfatherís first instinct upon seeing me was to leap into his garden
And sprinkle his flowers

How frozen in time,
How archetypically patriarchal
How gracefully in the moment
He seemed in his indulgent silence

Iíll never forgot that photograph
Of the 24year me, sitting on the marble pool
With the wondrous, bewildered, gleeful smile
Of the 6-year old me.

The click-clack of fingers and thumbs on the keyword
Brings me back to this moment
This hazy room, as light as air
Fading like smoke
only to be solidified
By the clock thumping unwaveringly
Its arms, undaunted and determined
to keep up their steady march
Forward.

Writing | Creative Writing | Poems

© Ehsan Akbari