Black Pomegranate (Saba Vasefi)

Verity La Heightened Talk

In my father’s garden
you pick a black pomegranate
and when I open
my pocket for you to place
the fruit there, you look
at me with a fervent stare.

You lean my way
as if to kiss, and I feel
your breath upon my skin
like the scent of autumn.

Then sleep drains
from this dream and waking,
I am unable to hold it. I lose
your hand, the fruit it held,
my past, my homeland
and I fall, with longing, into morning
light, my soul an empty well.

I would like to hide from day
in an unlit burrow; if I can’t
see you, no one will see me.

But don’t worry—
I will not be lost,
I will not dwell in darkness.
Instead, I will rub salt
into my wounds. 

photo poem (1)

Saba Vasefi is a poet, academic, filmmaker and the director of Sydney International Women’s Poetry & Arts Festival. She is an Asylum Seekers Centre Ambassador, was the recipient of an Edna Ryan Award for making a significant contribution to feminism, and was twice a judge for the Sedigheh Dolatabadi Book Prize for the Best Book on Women’s Literature and Women’s Issues. Saba’s master’s thesis in Feminist Literary Criticism received the highest grade possible and at the age of twenty-four she became a lecturer at the prestigious Shahid Beheshti University in Iran. She was expelled from the university after four years of teaching due to her activism against capital punishment, and moved to Australia in 2010. She holds a postgraduate degree in Documentary at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), and is currently working on a thesis on Human Rights and Feminism in the Cinema of the Islamic Republic of Iran.