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.