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Saturnalia

September 2, 2011

by Maryam Monalisa Gharavi

All my life I’ve been fighting
Saturn, the keeper of hours:
More accountant than divine,
Perverse minister of irresolute time.

What is an hour? What are four?
The question was submitted to
A bookkeeper of such things.
His cheeks shadowed in reddish rings.

Habits: I try to brick them up
Like a builder of a makeshift shack,
In weather likely to bring doom.
I hang a clock in one unfinished room.

But the wager of our finitude,
Each a custodian of our own
Demise, is a more bearable freight.
Till then—

Let all the world wait.


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Maryam Monalisa Gharavi’s poetry and translation has appeared in Anamesa, Amerarcana: A Bird & Beckett Review, Washington Post and The Dudley Review. Her films have screened at Townhouse Gallery of Art, Pacific Film Archive, Harvard Film Archive, and several festivals. She is translating Syrian-Brazilian poet Waly Salomão’s book Algaravias, and is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University. She blogs at South/South.

  1. September 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    A rare “modern” poem, with an insight. Bravo.

  2. September 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    My “Finitude Unbound” was prompted by this post on Q. Check out: http://ambitsgambit.blogspot.com/2011/09/finitude-unbound.html

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