Vincent and Franz
Vincent and Franz were my neighbors when I was young
Both lived in the dark corner houses at the end
Of our dead-end alley invisible to naked eyes.
Where was this neighborhood?
Many asked me all my life.
The ones who knew where I was from
Didn’t believe a word of mine.
Iran has no foreigners, let alone two in your side of town.
Vincent was Ana’s little brother I explain,
The youngest son of a pious family
Who lived next door to mosque.
Ana, the coquettish girl who was touched
By devout worshippers and married men alike
Such bizarre story I have no reason to devise.
Who do you think was behind
The scandalous affair of Haji Morad
The respectable rug merchant in bazaar?
Why do you think Ibrahim, her father
Cut her throat in sleep one night?
Stream of blood drenched her pillow,
Tainted her young plaid skirt
Ruined the doll she loved the most.
I know this tale first hand
Vincent painted this crime.
Yes he was not talkative at all
A reserved character, aggressive times
Yet, he could capture the essence
Of every mirage engraved in his twisted mind.
Frantz was a bastard child of a housemaid and a judge
He told me once himself not being shy of calling his mother a whore.
Frantz had a wealth of knowledge on self-gratification
It was him who taught Vincent and I
How to enhance our pleasure by refining our minds.
How to molest innocent words with grace
To defile a virgin without ever touching her flesh.
Our dead-end alley was long and gray
Filled with so much filth and deception
Even rain could not wash away.
Amorphous homes leaning on one another
crooked walls erected high, doors warped with despair,
Iron bars of windows to distort the light.
I never forget the scent,
That mystic aroma of their kitchens
Their mothers’ cooking I pined to taste
Yet the rule was clear, I was not allowed
To set foot in their homes
As everyone in neighborhood knew
Vincent was insane and Franz a Jew.
The only friends of my childhood
The ones I had got along
Were two disturbed individuals, outcasts by all accounts.
To capture the exotic times we had together
To decipher the chaos, to shed light on the labyrinth
To make a sense of it all, I write
The more secret I reveal
The murkier the canvas grows.
For that reason only I don’t wish to share
The colorful twirls of our childhood’s boomerang.
Suffice to say, together
We shared wickedness, our perverse delight and
When we staggered for hours in starry nights.
Wandering specters that’s all we were
Caressing the velvet of fantasy, forever lost in the haze of life.