Selected Poems of Ahmad Shamlou | Ali Salami

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In this Dead-end

They smell your breath

Lest you might have said: I love you.

They smell your heart.

These are strange times, darling.

And they flog

Love

At the barricade pole.

 

Love should be concealed in the closet.

 

In this crippling cold serpentine dead-end

They set

The fire burning

With the fuel of songs and poems.

Don’t risk thinking.

These are strange times, darling.

He who knocks on the door at nightfall

Has come to kill the light.

 

Light should be concealed in the closet.

 

There they are the butchers

Stationed at every turn

Brandishing bloody clubs and cleavers

 

These are strange times, darling.

And they sew smile upon the lips

And songs upon the tongues.

 

Passion should be concealed in the closet.

 

The barbecue of canaries

Over a fire of lilies and jasmines,

These are strange times, darling.

The devil, intoxicated with victory,

Sits at the table of our mourning.

 

God should be concealed in the closet.

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