Saffronic – Bänoo Zan

Saffron—

like nipples
touched the armpits of
dreams

traced her yellow aroma
to the sickness of love

covered the crutch
in tiny golden threads

still restless—
found her way
to the boiling water
and sipped the tea
brewed in Khorasan

glittered on the rice
offered to the guest
licking her foreign tongue

dreamed of intimacy
with crystal candles

travelled over stigma

listened to the odes
in her honour
and said nothing in return—

like a bashful flower of the desert
closed her corolla to innuendos
and left the symposium

She could not help
saffronizing
the roses and maple leaves

lost the freedom of stamens
and was packaged
for the consumption
of the exotic

She knew—
all along

that she was a lie—
that no colour could smell
so good

that she had to look
at her looks

and see the breaks
and the end of the sap

She had to be honest

But love
attacks beauty
with the mercy

of dreams

Bänoo Zan has published more than 120 poems, translations, biographies, and articles. Her book, The Song of Phoenix: Life and Works of Sylvia Plath, was reprinted in 2010. Two collections of her poems are to be released in 2016. She is the founder of Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), the most diverse poetry reading and open mic series in Toronto.

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