I feel night by night more real
so old and real that in the mirror
I see nothing anymore
but a range of empty chairs.
Farideh Hassanzadeh-Mostafavi writes, “It was wartime between Iran and Iraq. One night, as every night, the bombs began to fall, and this time they destroyed an elementary school. It was very close to our home. When we went to see what happened, we saw empty chairs fallen on the ground like dead children. They were surrounded by pieces of broken windows, doors, and ceiling.
“Since that night, whenever I look into the mirror, I can see nothing but a range of empty chairs. I wrote the above as a fragment in my notebook. Many years later, I used it in a poem about war.”