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Prettier than candlelight
Excerpt from "Persian Dreams"



July 12, 2005

From Maryam Tabibzadeh's "Persian Dreams". A novel written with poetry, "Persian Dreams" follows the individual lives of family members across generations, exploring the intimate details of life in Iran [Press release].

Life has its ups and downs
Like beautiful oceans
Sometime stormy sometimes calm
The waves go up and down
You have to be careful not to be drowned
Ride the waves wherever it goes.
You will be safe when the ocean clams down

She could not bear to see his skin get pale.
He was her candle burning down.
She was watching without being able to prevent.
Then came the day she dread. That day, holding his hand, she found him dead.
She called him on his deaf ears, but there was no answer,
She looked at him with his eyes closed. His hand was cold and stiff.
She looked outside and told her husband.
I am so amused that you are dead but the sun still is shinning!
Since you were my sun and your love was shining on the earth.
Then she started to get mad and told the angel of death: you the bloodthirsty angel, you are the enemy of love. Why? Why did you kill this beautiful light and steal his warm breathe from me? When he was alive his beauty was giving splendor to the roses and his breathe was giving the pansies their perfume and their smells.
As cruel as you are, all the generation will curse you, I am sure.
Is it possible that your wine is the people's tears?
And that is the reason that you are stoned-hearted and making people cry, so you can drink their tears?
Then she started to kiss his cold face and lips,
Then let her warm tears pour on his face.
And again she found herself talking to the angel of death.
Are you coming back again to drink your wine?
What are in people's tears that you like so much? Look at these innocent children whose lives are shattered because of your lust for your wine.
She spread her hairs with desperate desires,
with big and beautiful smiles.
He started trembling, like a tree.
His young face became pale and could see.
On the roof under the stars.
He could not believe his eyes.
He wanted to tell her all about his lonely nights.
He wanted to share with her his thoughts and his internal fights.

But he remembered his God and told himself: this is a forbidden love.
If I become weak I will be disgraced. He was not to be weak or despicable.
Then he stood up and covered his crippling feelings.

She said hi to the most handsome man I adore.
You are well without any pain I hope.
Without you, the world did have any peace.
There was no climate in the orchard of hope.
I was miserable and alone.
Did not know where you were and what you have done.
I do not think it is right to be here in my house.
You are a married woman and in a single man's house. What do you think? What will people say if they find out?
She told him here under this sky: there is nobody but you and I!
Are you afraid of the stars to tell our stories?
Or this beautiful breeze will take our secret and spread it all over in the cities?
Oh my darling, the stars are not spies and the breeze does not know how to give failing reports.
In the silence of the nights there are no clergies and no courts.
There is no prison or any guards.
Do not scare me of people's talks.

A man who is not brave in his ways,
He will be far from enjoying any of his days.

You are red fire; where is your heat?
You look like fresh running water; why are you still?
You are young; where is your youth?
Nothing is better than a smile on your lips.
Frowning is not becoming on your face.
Why are you frowning anyway? Am I not your love?He answered with trembling voice.

He closed his eyes and said in a whispery voice.
He was provident, he knew of his consequence.
He felt he was at the edge of a cliff
He closed his eyes since he was afraid to fall down from the cliff of his faith.

Oh you appositive copy of fairy, but I do not know if you are human or a fairy
It is an understatement to say you are equal in beauty
With jasmine or any flower in Garden of Eden
I have not found any one, and I need you as much as plants need rain,
But I have to leave this relation, since there is nothing to gain!
The consequence of our relationships is death or severe pain.
You can not be mine since you are a married woman.
I realize this with lots of pain.
Go now and let me be in agony and pain.
I do not want to commit a sin.
You know how God punishes you in hell with a severe pain?

Roodabeh, who was obliterated on his lips,
While he was talking about all those things.
Looked at him like an artist admiring his handsome face.
She felt her heart like a bird in its cage.
In her chest was plumage,
Flapping its wing and wanted to rise.
She pushed her chest where was her heart,
To prevent the rise of the bird called her heart.

She sat down, looked at the stars.
Like dew around narcissus, tears gathered in her eyes.
Told him although I can not have you,
But I can not have any comfort without you.
My love is a sin to you,
Then why are you so kind? Damn you!
Do not say so many bad things about our love,
And do not abstain from our love.

Do not scare me of God's punishment.
He already punished me when he made me a woman.
You are calling our love a sin, but you are refusing to see my marriage as a sin.
I was nine when I was sold; this story needs to be told.
In other parts of the world, this is not acceptable and is seems to be cold.

He bought me from my father in the form of marriage of course.
Then without asking me, took me to his house,
And all these years I have been in prison but in a palace-like house.

But at least they have love and they have a warm house.
He is away for month and months, I am alone in his house.
He is busy seeing faraway lands, bringing money and things for the house.
But he is not lonely as I am, since he has his slaves and temporary wives.
He can have slaves and sleep with them too; he can also have temporary wives.
He is not committing sins although he has me as his wife!
Although I have not seen him all these years with a smile,
I was content though since that was my life.
I learned music and how to sing. I read books and learned to be alive.
Then I heard your tar, you bent down to see my face.
I saw a man who was kind and polite with an angel's face.
Your beauty and your politeness, got with playing tar combine.
They were enough to kill nonexistent faith of mine.
Without planning, I felt deeply in love the first time.
You came equipped with all the good things one can have.
Sweet smell and handsome face,
Clean clothes and shaven face. Told me sweet poems with beautiful voice and smile.
I thought you knew who I was. What you did and said then drowned me in the sea.
The sea called love but I could not see.

Oh my dear isn't it such a beautiful night?
With wine, sweets, and candlelight?
How can you leave all these at midnight?

He opened his arms and said that is right,
It was my darling a beautiful night.
Your face is much prettier than candlelight.
Wine and sweets were fine, but your lips are my delight.
If I can get a kiss for good night,
I will be happy the rest of the night.

She went closer to him, like a ship pushed ahead by the waves of the sea.
Her eyes still stared in his, begging to stay and not to leave.
Her cheeks were getting red by the effects of wine,
Her heart pumping rapidly with a forbidden desire,
She clung to him like a honey sucker vine.

For letters section
To Maryam Tabibzadeh


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