a poem by Ziba Karbassi


			this that I make black about my eyes 
this that I rouge red on my reddening lips 
and this wild ivy of my hair that I plait in two 
	strands with their miniature tulips 
			of love 

this that I'm wearing bright winter clothes 
and they suit me 
this that I paint my nails each with different colours 
this that I love moonlight 
		that brings dreams 
			this that I love dreams 
where they take me out of myself 
this that I dance like a roma dancer  
		swaying in the wild-why of the wind 
and then more crazily still in the hi-hu of the hurricane 
			in the humour, in the 

		in the language 

this that I am tall and as tall as all this that I must 

and again this : that from the everything - 
		out of the nothing - that you have , I 
				want no part 

and this : that the taller I am and the more I have 
      I have to love 

this that I say poem and then that love will feint 
			inside the words 

this that I know sudden stress is another name for 

this that I suddenly become like a crazed one 
	and I strip in front of your eyes 
		and the poem becomes the crazyness 
   of my crisis 
			and I become the storm stress of 
					the poem 

and I make love all the time 
			make love with the poem 

this that you've become gob-mouthed and round-eyed 
				just looking at me 

this that your language stutters in the gap and water 
			dries in your throat and your
				mouth stays wide O   
				         and says : 





				Aaa .. 

(tr. Stephen Watts & Ziba Karbassi)