Friday, July 3, 2009


The memory of Neda and the memory
of Michael are sitting together on a cloud
of fog, of peppergas, unseen and unheard
on the streets of Tehran. Neda says

I can never forgive you. I’m sorry
Michael Jackson says.
I can never forgive you Neda says
for stealing from us the world’s fickle eyes.

I’m sorry, Michael Jackson says.
Shut up says Neda. Listen. Just shut up.
Michael Jackson shuts up.
They watch the Bajiis beat their drums,

breaking bones. The demonstrators run
from the clouds of fog, of pepper.
They bend at the waist, they raise their
heels, crouch, standing on their toes

until, worldly again, they hack and cough.
Neda’s scold floats across her cheeks:
Don’t you dare turn this into a dance,
she says, but it’s too late.

They are singing now Ahmadinejad
is not my leader. Mousavi is the one
What was once a duststorm is now
a swarm of bees dancing, backward,

peering ahead into the eyes of Bajjis
with their clubs and guns and motorcycles,
until the foglights and the peppergas fades.
Somewhere on Twitter a silly poet rubs

his fickle eyes.