This poem is taken from Stand 224, 17(4) December 2019 - February 2020.

Nicola Vulpe Three Poems
The Poet Descends, Willingly, the Stairs
    for Forough Farrokhzad (Tehran, 1935 – 1967)

My mother said:
A woman about to die,
her kiss is cold.

I answered, Mother,
I cannot do otherwise.

Not today, she said.
Go another day, go tomorrow.

Wait for spring, the New Year, she said.
Wait for the mountain storms to fall quiet.

Wait for the tulips to fill the valleys,
for the sun to warm your young face.

Mother, I whispered, I cannot do otherwise.
My lot is to go down the long stairs.

My lot is to descend
into the loneliness of the moon.
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