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Empty space

Tahereh Tavous
April 18, 2006

He loves me because I hurt

He will never tell me this

But I know

I can see it in the way he stares at my pain

He is in awe of my hurt

To hurt like this I must have felt like that

And if  I felt like that once I can surely feel like that again

And if I felt it with the other I can feel it with the new


He is wrong.

My hurt is your hurt

So maybe it is you that he is really in love with and just doesn’t know it

It is not depth it is not character it is not strength

It is raw and it is all I have left of you

And us

It is so deeply entrenched and settled I can no longer imagine myself without it

I do not remember how it was before your hurt came inside of me




In a strange way I pity him

And resent you

For the way you must be laughing at the thought of another man falling in love with nothing but broken pieces of the girl you undid

You unraveled

And it is a dark joke between the two of us

Black comedy that only we can laugh at

That each kiss I get and smile I give

It is to you

And for you

And because of you

I knew I had gone mad when I started seeing them without heads

Like Parsipur’s Zarri

All of them

It’s hard to pretend that nothing’s missing

That they’re whole

But I convince them

(I learned that trick from you)

once I tried to imagine your head on the emptiness of his body

I couldn’t.

And I wonder sometimes if I’ve really lost it

But is not a girl driven to madness

Forced into it

Hungry for it

Mad in her own right?

At least now I have an excuse

A pretense for staring into the space where a head should be

For sticking my tongue into the empty space

Hoping to taste you

Have you ever stopped to consider how closely

Laughter and tears

Resemble one another?

I forgot the difference a few nights ago

So I laugh at the empty spots above men’s bodies

And cry at the moments of peace where I am not haunted by you

And resign myself to being an unwilling accomplice to the

Funny peculiarity of such a rapturous pain

So settled

So deep inside of me

That it causes others to fall in love with me

letters section
Tahereh Tavous

Tahereh Tavous


Book of the day

Stories From Iran
A Chicago Anthology 1921-1991
edited by Heshmat Moayyad




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