In Dari Class
I stood before the third grade students and discussedthe Dari architecture: nouns, verbs, sentence structure.I paid no mind to that wide crack in the front mudwall but could not stop hearing howling-by cold windslapping in the wrecked window covered by plastic.Oh, please don’t say I liked to teach about constructinga good sentence while they’d no good bench to sit on,no shoes, ripped socks. In winter. Uh! What could I teachwhen their small pale hands dyed by henna shook from cold?When class was winding down, I posed a question: Class,write what the word “Afghanistan” first brings to mind.I watched the students’ heads, in white scarves, looking down.The crack—wide crack—was sinking me in a dark creekwhile those small girls filed out of my day till next week.
The Dirt on Afghanistan
I thought the US troops had come to bringelectric washers, Tide, and heat to us.I watched my home and thought good-bye to thisbig filth. But now, my neighbors are preparingmore guns, more bullets, rpgs. Toenailto forehead. It’ll be bloody. Larger thanthe past. Let’s holler, “yes, hello to hell.”The Afghan Army—it’s a joke. Its men [End Page 59] steal and rape and drive the US Humvees.The foreigners are getting out and hopingthat this large mess won’t stick to them. Let’s bemore honest, there’s no soap, no water, there’snot one good toilet. The shit storm’s coming.It’s awful what we’ll face. There’s no plan B. [End Page 60]
Amin Esmaielpour is a poet, literary translator, and writer. He moved to the United States from Iran in 2011. He has a mfa in poetry and also holds a ma in American and New England studies and a ba in English translation. He was recently the special feature poet of The Broadkill Review. His works also have appeared in Le Monde and Veil: Journal of Darker Musings.