You in Space, Leila Farjami

Philip Kobylarz, Night Sea, Photograph



For Mother


After you walk
or fly away
from your body,
a long winter takes hold,
with its slumped oaks
and graying sun.

From your window
inside an empty house,
I could watch the garden for days.
From above, your eyes
might watch me.

Our words to each other
will be breath
woven into the air
outside of time.
My language will be lost
in your last exhale,
and the expired light
from churning stars
will travel afar.

I remember the warmth
of your hand
on my forehead,
like a summer day in Tehran,
when the willows
outside my window would
pulsate in unison,
and the old peddlers
lumbered home with boxes
of black-market cigarettes.

I did not become a mother
like you,
I did not turn into a silent planet
veiled in lustrous stardust
amethyst luminescence.

Your eyes become ether;
your spirit,
the wind, and all its feathers,
your nest,
closer to the sun.

If ever I could return
to your womb
to be born
on a spring morning,

I would not do it.
I cannot bear
to swallow
the milk
of this world

Leila Farjami


Review by Jared Pearce

The situation of a non-mother mothering a dying mother is really interesting to me: how the speaker considers her mother’s life, her way with her daughter, juxtaposed to the speaker’s resolute confirmation that she herself will not participate in the same way her mother has.  The layers between the two characters are, I think, really fascinating.

Scroll to Top