Dead Cornea: Lifeless Pupil by Ramsha

In an utter desire to disappear from the fringe of my own sight, I write this to you…

I know I have not been a good child unlike your other children. Now, when I feel that I am left all alone by those who claimed to stay there, to provide me with their shoulders to put my head on, and now when there are only those left around who have never withhold themselves from adding onto the toxicity of this already lethal stigma which we call life, I only desire to be with you. The distance has always played a cruel actor in the drama of my life. It already has snatched many precious people away from me, and now it is forcing me to bear the similar kind of loneliness for the thoughts that connect your affection with my ragged being.

I confess, in the darkest of times, that I need another life of the kind to learn how would I breathe through this one. The life which is according to our world or, maybe the life, which is appropriate in the other world; the real world waiting for us out there.

It is so bitter that I have begun to ignore the darkness. The metaphor which has played the role of almost an eternity for my mortality. I cannot even see, rather sense, darkness anymore. It is just my breathing which has kept me bothering about gazillion useless yet valuable issues. I have shared this plenty of times before, not with you, not with anyone else but, with him that I don’t want to breathe anymore. And, I know somewhere in the brains of my heart that it will keep moving forward for it has a few more nightmares to offer during the dazzling daylight and a few more scars to proffer within an ugly facade of salvation.

Afternoons of Extravagant Delight by Ramsha Ashraf

Picking on the dead flesh
The dead writes on the dead’s body.
He inks the pilgrimage to find sanctuary
From that dull, dismissive, charcoal night
Toward the afternoons of extravagant delight,
Not realizing, maybe in a desire of not wanting to realize,
That the pale flesh does not breathe, move and respond
To his elongated fingertips, his unfamiliar eyes move but do not see,
His finger-pores leave messages but withhold his characteristic warmth of oblivion.
Delightful, it could be, if the flesh-bearer could, again, sense the monotonous ink of love.

Finding Nothing

It was unusual for us. Of us. Not to make others feel at home when catastrophes are devastating the world around. I came back home and the first thing, before falling on the bed, I did was to leave a message for you. A message which demanded affection and if not that then, maybe, sympathies. I received the answer that very moment. I fell asleep without holding any desire to type back, something that had never happened before. Neither emotional nor purely sentimental, but something that was not so typical of me.

Now, when I am wide awake wide and trying to analyze what had happened during the day, I can feel the broken pieces floating within my fluid body justifying my belief in the illusion of the absence of any concrete existence. An incomplete amorphous existence which will never become a part of the complete, concrete, whole.

They say: ‘You’re trying to move on!’, but I know that I am just pretending to give moving on a try. In fact, I am going down and down in the deep abyss of darkness which definitely has no way back towards light, if there is, or was, any light available at all.  I try to pretend, but I find nothing.

When you hold me tonight,

Please, don’t close your eyes.

I have always cried

While writing about you

This time, as well,

The paper has embraced

Two tears & has hidden them


Where, even, I can’t find them

It won’t close its eyes

It won’t break its promise

Of not reveling the secrets,

It is not you.

(11:22 PM), 28th March 2016

Muddle Of Memories by Ramsha Ashraf

There is a muddle of memories in my mind.

I can really not figure out which one gets me struck

to relish the baggage of minute details it contains in its torn, ragged, pocket.

(I think it is the medicine which is playing havoc with my nerves.)

It happens every winter

with the beginning of every chilling−raag

the memory of the old, worn-out, self knocks at the windowpane of my mind

the worthlessness it survived for years

in a false hope that things would get potently better

While they get worse.

The fear of the passing of many strange shadows around that self still haunts.

It strengthens, too, the conviction of tombs.

After being failed, for several times, by the ones who the self thinks love it, the remorse and the regret appear another useless ritual.

A Letter From Forugh Farrokhzad To Her Father

Dearest Papa,

It has been a long time since I have written to you. That is, I have written but not sent them. At this moment, there are two envelopes on my desk on which I have written your address, but I have always thought that I should change my letters and that is why they are still on my desk. I don’t know what can I write to you. I am well. As always, the more ascetic [dervish] one becomes, the easier life is. Now I have accustomed myself not to expect too much of life. I always tell myself, the way it is, it’s good enough. There are many people who are not as fortunate as I am and in this way I do less thinking and more living. Amir is also well. We see each other a lot, and as always, our conversations are about Tehran, the kids, mother, and papa. And this is the only subject that we can talk about for countless days and never tire of it. When we are together, we realize how much we love maman and baba and these kids. How much we always want to have them in our lives and feel their love. I planned to return to Iran at the beginning of the summer, but Amir doesn’t agree and thinks I should stay here with him and return with him. I haven’t thought it out yet, I miss Kami. But on the other hand, I feel that I am not strong yet emotionally. I am not strong and normal yet. If I return there, that hellish life will being again and I am afraid I won’t be able to bear some of the things involved.

You had asked about my work and studies. You know what my goal is in life. It might be a little stupid, but it is only in this that I feel satisfaction and happiness. I want to be a great poet and I love poetry. I have never had any other purpose but this. That is, since I’ve known myself I’ve felt that I love poetry. Whatever I do, I do it to expand my intellectual horizons. I never study for getting a diploma or a degree, but rather, my intention is that by expanding the range of my knowledge, I can pursue what I love, which is writing poetry, and to succeed. In the seven months that I lived in Italy, I learned Italian well. I translated two books of poetry from Italian, and now, with Amir’s help, I am occupied with translating a book from German. I have also translated one and sent it to Tehran to be published, which, of course, will generate some income. In the last ten month living in Europe I have also written a book of poetry that I intend to publish. Poetry is my God. Meaning that I love poetry to this extent. My days and nights are spent in this thought that should write a new, a beautiful poem—not yet written by anyone. The day that I am alone and have not thought about poetry is considered among my wasted days. Perhaps outwardly poetry can not make me happy, but I have a different meaning for happiness. For me happiness is not good food, clothes or a good life. I am happy when my soul is content and poetry satisfies my soul, whereas if I have all these good things that people kill themselves for and am deprived of writing poetry, I will kill myself. You forget about me, let me be unlucky and always wandering in the eyes of others, but by God, and by the life of my child, I love you dearly. When I think about you, my eyes fill with tears. Sometimes I wonder why God has created me in this way and has put this devil of poetry inside me so that I cannot make you happy and content. But it is not my fault I cannot tolerate an ordinary life like those of millions of people. I don’t want to marry. I want to succeed in life and to be an outstanding woman in the society. I don’t think you disagree with this.

Write to me , because I love your letters. I want to buy and send something good for you, but I don’t know what you like? I have saved some money and want for the first time to buy a gift for my own daddy. But you have to tell me what you like.



Catterpillar‒moments by Ramsha Ashraf

The caterpillar‒moments succeed!
When you wake up to yourself,
Fading away from the fear
Of being brought to reckoning.
The first week after you have given the birth,
Fear takes control over your nerves.
Nausea persists.
It does even in the dreams about holy love.
It needs courage to admit,
That all you have wanted
Is to throw up the love
That you have stored
As pupa,
You won’t declare it.
Who puts the metal hand in fire?
Who gives the name to a bastard?
Who owns a badly written poem?
Half‒cooked, rotten thought
Of measured faithsengulfed
By the silly pupa
Will remain abandonded.

“I don’t let you see my poems anymore” by Ramsha Ashraf

I don’t let you see my poems anymore.

[We have crossed the beginning,
And now, we are moving
Towards the middle
Where triggering the infatuation
May lead to an open-ended tragedy]

I know it is difficult for you to absorb
Spectator’s opinions about the subjects,
Like the difficulty you face in kissing
The taut, watery bristles my breasts carry,
You come to me in the dark, just to avoid
The ugly blemished sight of small gutters,
With a hundred-thousand love-veil on your face.
Of course, love is still there.

[ Maybe, we want to end it in the middle]

It is your breathing that I do not want to make difficult for you
So, I cover and coil my breasts with thin linen of acceptance and distance.
of course, love is still there in the air between veils and linen.
Neither among us deny that. Cannot.
The poems still exhale protective stinky fluids,
To smudge faces, to keep their opinions away,
Like the vesicles secrete crude oils to mark your distance

[End is certainly a delusion]

Photo title: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Neck

“Untitled” by Ramsha Ashraf

The story of life begins
With a spoon full of walnut brownie,
And a disgruntled question:
“Do you have another smoke?”
They can see through
The youthful ‘impetuosity’,
But cannot recognize the paralysis
Of a bony-structured woman,
Struggling hard with her breaths,
Fighting with inaccurate death
That hover all the time like bees.

The story of life ends;
With the struggle
Of that timid creature,
And with the beginning
Of skeleton’s death-dance.
‘The story of life ends’
What an orthodox truism,

What a pity!
There is no other petty matter
Available to narrate a story,
With a spoon full of walnut brownie,
And of course with the last question:
“Do you have another smoke?”
Matter is still the same,
But I offer another face,
To the inquisitor.
He sits there.
Woman struggles hard.

“I love My Perception of You” by Ramsha Ashraf

‘The night pours in the wine and more wine

In a glass named desire,

Waiting, waiting and waiting

For the right moment to wake

The dead up from its nameless grave.’

These were the lines I made up,

In my mind,


On your way back to your home,

You were trying to kiss me

To sleep,

Through the sounds

Of deep kisses,

On that cordless device.

I also thought about telling you

That it isn’t you that I love

It is my perception of you that I love,


I fell asleep.