Other Photos

When the spite of temptation brings me
to his images, where his skin is stretched into
a smile undeserved, where his claws
grip the fingers of the latest woman, and
I cannot scream into the picture
to blur the colors,
I click my way to other photos

To U.S. Marshals
escorting six-year-old Ruby
from her New Orleans school;
little soldier in a dress, allegiant brows
beneath the bow in her hair,
marching past those who want her dead,
no way of knowing the courtyard
would unveil her statue fifty-four years later

To Chinese doctors bowing
to the body of the eleven-year-old,
whose last wish was to donate his organs

To Diego’s cheeks slathered in tears,
as he plays the violin at the funeral
of the teacher who gave him stringed music

To disaster survivors
crawling toward family albums
that endured nature’s reprisal

To gentle-hearted animals
knelt by their owners’ caskets

To the orphan cradling
a new pair of shoes,
flooded with glee

To O Rei,
clutching the goalkeeper’s chest,
digging for relief
from the stunning joy of victory

To the circle of citizens
insulating endangered worshippers

To refugees
slipping between barbed wires

To a famous genius
with comedic purpose,
extending his tongue

To a grinning revolutionary,
leaving prison unbeaten,
his fist meeting the sky

To the graves of the Catholic wife
and Protestant husband,
split by brick wall,
fastened by stone arms

To the delicate faces
of little ballerinas in Rwanda

To the bus of strangers
scrambling to save
the passenger who tried
to escape her life

To the capture
of a heart-stained Pluto,
which seems to return my gaze,
wondering why I would ever weep
over the loveless on Earth 

 

 

 

About the Poet, Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad: I was born and raised in New York. My poetry has appeared in The Commonline Journal, The Coe Review, Kudzu House Quarterly, The Chiron Review, and is forthcoming in Passages North, Stillwater Review, Orange Coast Review, apt, and Riprap Journal. I currently live in New York and practice matrimonial law.