Forough Farrokhzad: “Perverse God”

Perverse God

If I were God, I’d tell the angels one evening
to cast the coin of the sun into a furnace of gloom.
I’d command the servants in the gardens of this world
to cut yellow leaves from the tree of the moon.

At midnight, secluded in my heavenly court,
with furious fingers, I would tear the world free.
And with hands grown weary of a thousand-year silence,
I would stuff all the mountains into the mouth of the sea.

I’d unbind the feet of a thousand sick stars
and fuse burning blood into the forest’s mute veins.
I’d tear the veil of smoke, so in the howl of the wind,
the fire’s drunk daughter could fornicate with the plains.

I would blow on the magical reeds of the night
till rivers rose from their beds like thirsty snakes.
Tired of a lifetime of sliding on slick bellies,
they would dive into the night-sky’s astral lakes.

I’d order the soft breeze to let feverish starships
drift on night streams, drunk on rose-petal musks.
I’d open every tomb, so a thousand dead souls
could find life once again in their bodily husks.

If I were God, I’d tell the angels one evening
to boil the rivers of Eden in the cauldrons of Hell.
With a hot torch in hand, I’d chase abstinent sheep
from the emerald pastures of heaven where they dwell.

Sick at last of my chastity, I would seek Satan’s bed
where the slope of transgression would shelter me in.
For I’d soon pay the price of the godhead’s gold crown
for the aching, dark delight of embracing a sin.

Forough Farrokhzad

Translated from Persian by Paul Weinfield, © 2015

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