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from Issue #5, Fall 2014 - Spring 2015

an excerpt from Vis & I

by Farideh Razi, translated from Persian by Niloufar Talebi

[ Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 ]

It all started right here: I was sliding down the indefinite course of time, watching myself run to reach you, counting, one, two, three. three more minutes have passed and I still haven't made a decision. I'm never going to see you if I keep up this indecisiveness. Your flight is at 3:30, I should hurry, I might make it in time. Time, do me a favor and pass a little slower. I want to stand face-to-face, stare into your eyes and say what I haven't said. I'm imploding little by little, standing here, present, right now. The colored rings floating in my eyes are making me dizzy. I can't see straight. What happened!? How did this happen!? The passing of time scares me, further separates me from you. You are flying away, just as the instants flit away in the wind, evaporate. Where are you going? Why aren't you taking me? Look at how I'm staring into space, wondering what to do under an avalanche of blazing instant-drops! Really, what am I to do!? Without you!

I see Vis crowned in sundrops and bent down in a daydream, softly murmuring: You don't realize that I'm running ahead of time, why don't you come with me, the two of us, each within the other, could reach him, keep him from leaving. Come see for yourself how things are in technicolor in my mind's eye, and all I see is crimson!

I say: I see nothing aside from the fantasy of you, which weighs heavily on my shoulders, and I'm all grief!

She looks at me with eyes that are limpid as though in tears, which say: Then get moving! Why are you still standing there nagging? It's 2:04 now, and his flight is at 3:30. If you want to hear his voice , the voice that said, Y, y, y, you are so beautiful. y, y, y, are so delightful, then run, hurry, call a car and go, don't let him leave. And I ran and cried: Vis, Vis!

She turned around, climbed the meshy steps of the imagination and spread her bewitching canopy over my head. I lowered my head under the weight of her electrifying being, and listened to time beckoning me-tick tock tick tock. I only had one hour and twenty-five minutes. My heart clenched and I ran.

Vis, wait! Wait, don't rush me! Let's go together! Flights are always delayed. especially now with the war and everything. sometimes they don't even green-light flights. it's hard to tell what will happen. all the flights will probably be cancelled tonight too.

Vis looked at me imploringly: Enough, already! For god's sake, run, hurry all you can! I didn't think that being separated would be this difficult, but this sorrow is colossal. How was I ever able to stand there before him, look him straight in the eyes and say, Go! How did I do that? Look at what I've done to you, how enveloped you are in a fog. You are disappearing among the droplets, vanishing.

She then made a distinct twirling motion in the air with her fingers.

I ask: What are you these fingers trying to tell me?

She says: Don't they conjure an image or a memory?

I say: Memories stand somewhere on deck until we call on them!

She says: Then call on them, say something, make me feel him, or somehow make me invoke him in my thoughts. I want to see whether he can see me. Can he see me standing here bewildered? I, for one, can see him crystal-clear! He's standing somewhere next to me, or sitting, I don't know. I can hear his eyes and what they have to say.

A mysterious pull forces me to close my eyes and imagine you under my lids, to call you with all my might. Do you hear me? I mean, do you really hear me? I hope so! Maybe you'll answer my call (How razor-sharp and cutting your gaze is). What was I thinking when I said, Go ?


"Should I?"


continue to Part 2 >>

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