In This Cul-de-Sac

Ahmad Shamloo

To make sure
You have not said:
"I love you,"
They smell your breath.
They even smell your heart
Trying times are these, my darling.
They flog love
Tied to the post of the cul-de-sac
We must hide love in the closet.
In this serpentine maze
This crooked cold corner
They feed the fire
With poems and songs
Thinking, too, is risky.
Those who, late at night, knock on the door,
Are there to kill the lamp.
We must hide the light in the closet.
Then there are the butchers
Stationed at all cross-roads,
Armed with a block and a bloody cleaver.
Trying times these are, my darling.
They plant smiles on lips,
And songs in the mouths.
We must hide joy in the closet.
On lilies and lilacs,
They roast the canaries.
Trying times these are, my darling.
Drunk with victory, the Devil,
Celebrates our wake.
We must hide God in the closet.

Last updated January 14, 2019