Vincent and Franz

Vincent and Franz

Vincent and Franz were my neighbors in youth

In the dead-end alley invisible to naked eyes

Where was this neighborhood? In the same country you were born?

Iran has no foreigners, let alone two in your side of town.

No one believes a word of mine.

Vincent was Ana’s little brother I explain,

The youngest son of a pious family that lived next to the mosque.

Ana, the same coquettish girl who was touched

By devout worshippers and married men alike

Such weird story I have no reason to make up

Who do you think was behind the scandalous affair of Haji Morad

The respectable rug merchant in bazaar?


That’s why Ibrahim, her father slit her throat in sleep one night

I know this tale first hand, Vincent painted this crime

The stream of blood drenched her pillow, tainted her young plaid skirt

Ruined the doll she loved the most.

Vincent was not talkative at all, a reserved character, belligerent at times

Yet, he could capture the detail of every mirage engraved in his twisted mind.

Frantz was a bastard child of a housemaid and a judge

He told me once himself, never 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

To enhance our pleasure by refining our minds

Expert on how to molest innocent words with grace

To defile a virgin without ever touching her flesh.

The dead end alley we lived in was long and gray

Inundated with filth, deception and pray

Even rain couldn’t wash away.

Crooked homes leaning on one another

Amorphous walls curbing sanity

Doors warped with despair, barred windows distorting 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 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 could got along

Were two disturbed individuals by all account.

And when I picture the times we had together

Shed light on dark corners to make a sense of it all,

The more secret I reveal, the murkier this canvas grows.

For that reason only I don’t wish to share

Every colorful twirl of our childhood’s together.

We shared wickedness, our perverse delights

When we staggered for hours in starry nights

Wandering specters that’s all we were

Caressing the velvet of fantasy lost in oblivion, in the haze of life.