width=61 height=87> Leila Farjami
Featured Poet


Leila Farjami was born in Tehran, Iran. She immigrated to United States with her family during Iran-Iraq war.

Leila has been writing and translating poetry for many years. Her first book of poetry named “Seven Seas, One Dew Drop” was published in Iran in 2001 by Roozgar publications. Her second volume of poetry is currently under publication.

Her work has been published in many Persian literary magazines in Iran and abroad, namely: Karnameh, Kelk, Baran, Maks, and Simorgh. Leila Farjami currently practices psychotherapy, art therapy, and play therapy with abused and neglected children and adolescents in Southern California.

(Bio current as of June, 2006)

A Letter to Father


this letter is to say good-bye to all the balloons
whose short strings flew out of my hands in a confusion of games
becoming the property of the angels of the wind. 
This letter is for the explosion of the tiny veins beneath grandfather’s belt buckle
in the sharp stench of alcohol and smoldered opium braziers
that jolt like walls in earthquakes,
cracking and dissolving,
into the soil like thin blood. 
This letter is for all the snow that had landed on your toes
offering your torn boots an impermanent refuge
beneath its white drape. 
This letter is for all the snow that used to share the same color as your childhood,
that remote innocence
covering your body like an invisible divine cloak,
gradually transforming into a soldier’s ragged uniform,
and killing enemies. 
This letter is for all the snow that melted in the large piazzas of war,
unable to extinguish the fires ascending
in the trenches of your heart. 
This letter is for the fears trapped in the caverns of my soul,
those insidious snakes poking their heads out of the dark holes,
and stinging the sunlight. 
This letter is from a girl who can never get smaller to extend her hands
towards yours
to skip over rushing streams of water. 
this letter is for the burial of the inherited resonance of words
in the old vocal box of our home. 
This letter is for today:
for the day that I have forgiven.

Copyright © Leila Farjami

Buddha’s Dilemma

Tree trunks fall and you don't care,
jungles burn and you don't care.
Your mother parts,
and you entrust the sweetness of her bosoms to a steamy alley at midnight
where it’s full of the sound of plunging the fetuses down the skyscrapers of your infinite city.
Your father dies and you shove his comb, full of white hair, into your back pocket
as you bury his yellow dentures in the lacerated gums of earth while you whistle, 
we sing, you whistle, we kiss, we don't care.

We don't care
why the occulted Imam who vowed to return will never re-emerge 
at the time of children burning in their classrooms, 
with rulers, notebooks, blackboards, and erasers, 
at the time of sacrificial wooden humans circling the squares and getting charred into coal.

No, the Imam will never reappear…

We don't care if we never again swallow cherry pits while we stand up under a lukewarm rain,
making love like two dark apparitions, before I become imbued with embryos knowing you as their father. 

No, we don't care.

We will never become human
so, let's at least become decent lice
like the ones adorning an orphaned girl's hair in Mazar-Sharif 
who will soon neither have a comb nor fingers.

Let's become decent lice…

This is Buddha's dilemma:
where would you hold your God
when you've got a weapon inside?

Copyright © Leila Farjami

Portal to Nostalgia

I sip my ice tea in Tully’s,
Irvine, California.
It doesn’t taste the same
as the brewed teas I’ve had in Tehran,
Damascus, Marrakesh,
or Amman. 
It doesn’t taste like dried up tea leaves soaked in H2O. 
Nothing else offers such consolation
as the aroma of all things missed
infusing my thirsty mouth
with a colorful aftertaste of an unending

Copyright © Leila Farjami

The Best Husband I've Ever Had

I am a married woman
whose husband is Death. 
My husband, Death,
kisses me on the lips
before going to work,
picking up a suitcase full of obituaries,
gently shutting the door behind himself
as to avoid reminding the neighbors
of the deadlines of their existence,
rattling Azrael’s nerves
who has worked overtime since Creation. 
Death has neither beaten me up
nor bribed me,
Death is content knowing
I can never get divorced
or accept a rival for him,
Death tells me that he loves my teeth, skull, and spinal bones madly,
that he’ll always preserve my jaws and delicate wrists
as much as he would a tiny flying dinosaur
named the “missing link”
in his archeological museum of lovers. 
Death is so faithful that he will never leave me for another wife,
and he’s so generous that he will grant me all the soil I desire
inch by inch. 
Whenever I start feeling nostalgic by living on earth
Death points me to the wings slung over the doorsill,
whispering: “Contemplate flight.”

Copyright © Leila Farjami