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Inscription (Katibeh)
Poem: Mehdi Akhavan Sales (M. Omid)
Translation: Ahreeman X
March 24, 2020

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Inscription (Poem in English) 

Inscription (Katibeh)
Poem: Mehdi Akhavan Sales (M. Omid)
Translation: Ahreeman X

The heavy rock laid over there like a mountain.
And we sat over here, a weary bunch.
Women, men, young, and old,
all linked together at the ankles,
by a heavy chain.
If your heart would drag you towards a lover,
You could crawl to her as far as,
the length of the chain.

We did not know,
nor did we ask,
was it a voice in our nightmares and weariness?
Or was it a herald from an unknown corner,
But where?
It spoke:

"The stone lying there withholds a secret,
inscribed on it by a wise man from the elders."
Thus, spoke the voice over and over again,
and, as a wave recoiling from itself,
retreated in the darkness.

And we did not speak a word.
And for some time, we said nothing.
Afterwards, only in our eyes,
lined up many doubts and queries.
And then there was a flood of weariness, oblivion,
and silence, even in our eyes.
And the heavy rock still laid there.

One night, the moonlight was pouring damnation upon us,
and our injured, swollen feet were itching,
one of us, whose chain was heavier,
cursed his ears and moaned: "We must go,"
and we groaned: "Damn our ears, our eyes too, we must go,"
and we crawled up to where the heavy rock laid.
One of us, whose chain was a bit looser, climbed up and read:

"The one who shall turn me over,
will learn my secret!”

And with a strange joy, we repeated this dusty secret,
gently with our lips, like a prayer.

And the night was a magnificent stream, full of moonlight.

Push, more time,…two...three...once more!

Sweating, sorrow, cursing, and at times even crying., many times.
Heavy was the rock, but sweet was our victory,
tired but happy, we felt a familiar joy,
soaring with delight and ecstasy.

One of us, whose chain was lighter,
saluted all, then climbed the rock,
wiped the dirt and mud off the caked old inscription,
and mumbled the words,
(while we were impatient)
He licked his lips wet (and we done the same),
and remained silent.
He glanced at us but still silent.
He read it again, his eyes fixated, his tongue died.
His faraway eyes were gazing in the horizon,

We shouted:
"Read!" but he was speechless,
"Read it to us!" but he stared at us in silence.
After a while,
he climbed down, his chain rattling,
he was falling down, we held him up,
lifeless as he was, we sat him down,
he cursed our hands and his,

"What have you read? huh?"
He swallowed his saliva and gently said:

"The same was written:

‘The one who shall turn me over,
will learn my secret!’”

We sat down,
and stared at the moon and the moonlight night,
and the night was a sickly stream.

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