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Poem: The scale man

By Leylanaz Shajii, Tehran


Squatting on the pavement says the scale man against a wall

come, pay what you can, weigh yourselves.  In front of him

a scale carefully placed. Around the number indicator

the metal frame rusting. Come. Weigh yourselves.

His white eyes nonstop fluttering in their sockets, the wings

of a pigeon ensnared. His head thrown back and his voice restless.

Pay what you can weigh yourselves. Weigh

the emptiness gripping your diaphragms

the burden of aim-less-ness.  See how heavy

the responsibility you never felt, belonging you never sensed

the thousand years you never lived, the memory you left behind.

Step on the scale weigh yourselves. Read the weight

of illusion, of poetry you no more need, and of those tricks destiny

has fooled you with.  Come pay what you can, weigh yourselves.

Passer-bys but only quicken their ghostly paces

the rusting scale intact and the man still restless

come pay what you can, see yourselves.


Leylanaz Shajii


July 2, 2005

... Payvand News - 7/14/05 ... --

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