(untitled)

Eight paces from the gate,
Sixteen paces toward the wall.
Which scroll speaks of this treasure?

Oh, earth!
If only I could feel your pulse
Or make a jug out of your body.
Alas! I’m not a physician.
I’m not a potter.
I am only an heir, deprived,
wandering in search of a marked treasure.

Oh, hand that will bury me,
This is the mark of my tomb:
Eight paces from the gate,
Sixteen paces toward the wall.
In the Cemetery of the Infidels.

— Majid Naficy
(Trans. by Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr.)

A critic of the Khomeini regime, Majid Naficy fled Iran in 1983 after the execution of his wife by firing squad. The above poem documents the search for his wife’s unmarked grave in Khavaran Cemetery.

Advertisements