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into the mountain

and the woman in the mountain said /
my head is full of rocks / my mouth, ears, nose full of sand

Poetry | Arabic, Forugh Farrokhzad
July 15, 2021

Editors’ Note: The following poem is part of the notebook I Want Sky, collecting prose, poems, and hybrid work celebrating Egyptian activist Sarah Hegazy, and the lives of all LGBTQ+ Arabs and people of the SWANA region and its diaspora. Edited by Mariam Bazeed and published as a part of a partnership with Mizna, the notebook will also be available as a print issue this summer, including pieces exclusive to that format. Continue reading work published in this series here.

and the woman in the mountain said,
“bring wandering travelers here and i will nourish them with the water of my tears” 

and the woman in the mountain said
this world will have you running to stone for embrace
باد – بال – بار – باز 

    how to find it again
    the living
    how to stay alive
    when the mountain has taken you
باز هم باز هم
    wake up drink water one foot and then the next walk meet the sun
    and again and again and again until you feel 


  and the woman in the mountain said

    my head is full of rocks
    my mouth, ears, nose full of sand
    the worst part of this is all the time stolen from me 

and the woman in the mountain said

    the mountain took me
    alone in the desert
    the mountain folded me into arms of stone
    like a mother
    is this intimacy
    the leaning in, the point of contact,
    the gravitational pull between us, energy flowing between beings
    on the event horizon, where 

   you tilt your body in 

   and give yourself to nothing
   is it the mirror tilted towards the sun
   flashing out light 

  and the woman in the mountain said

    every day i remember the hands of my father’s mother
    the way they seemed to lengthen as she grew older
    fingers like curving branches extending out towards light
    i remember her hands before she died, the skin stretched over them
    the muscles almost gone, bony and tremulous
    quivering atop the blanket she lay under
    i have my mother’s hands
    short and delicate
    there are too many things i wish i had said and done


    every day i remember i am alone
    every day i remember running out into the desert 

    every day i remember giving my body to the mountain 

and the woman in the mountain said

         دستهایم را در باغچه میکارم
        سبز خواهم شد، میدانم میدانم میدانم 

  and the woman in the mountain said

i am NOT a woman—I am mountain my tears flow from bare stone my body is rock and dust i am NOT a woman you will not make me need to be you will not tell me what i am you will not have me believe you can contain my body and my breadth in such a word in what you call woman i am NOT I AM NOT i am flowing water i am a garden in bloom one day i decay and the next i am the moon i swell and shrink i am the tree pulling sap up my body to nourish sprouting leaves for spring i am the mountain and the soil and the horizon and the stars i am all this and more i am more i am more than you could ever know more than you could ever imagine 

and the being in the mountain said

    i am still waiting, biding my time
    i must, refuse to be denied
    i have given myself to be swallowed and consumed and enveloped
    in embrace
    i will survive but i
    will not be fixed
    i am mountain
    my tears are water
    my soul is migrant
    i am in flight
    with a desert in my heart
    i will bloom and grow and wilt and bloom again
    i will have both and
    when you see all that i am
    you will fall upon your sword in ecstasy
    to see a flower become a bird a being become a mountain
    towering, soaring, falling
    the drop and the ocean
    i will untangle the knot, tie it into the tapestry, and unravel it again
    i can turn into a bird at will and fly into the sun
    look—you can see the mirror that is you

   reflected in the mirror that is me we 

   are infinite 

  and the mountain said

    and i said
    and i
    and i