“When you decide to leave,”

وقتی می‌ خواهی بروی
آسمان صاف است
راه‌ ها هموار
ترن‌ ها مدام سوت می‌ کشند
همین‌ طور کشتی‌ ها
اما وقتی می‌ خواهی بیایی
دریاها طوفانی می‌ شوند
آسمان‌ ها ابری
و راه‌ های زمینی را نیز
برف می‌ بندد
دوست دارم بیایی
اما نیا!
دنیا به هم می‌ ریزد!

Rasool Yoonan, a poet, playwright, novelist, and translator, was born in 1969 in Urmia, Iran. His debut collection of poetry, Good Day My Dear, was published in 1998. Further collections include Concert in Hell, I Was a Bad Boy, Carrying the Piano Down the Stairs of an Icy Hotel, Be Careful; Ants Are Coming, and Skiing on the Housetops. Yoonan’s most recent publications are three chapbooks of micro fiction: You Idiot! We’re Dead; Damn It, Pick Up the Phone; and See You in Hell.
Yoonan’s poetry has also been translated to Armenian and French.


When you decide to leave,
the sky is clear. The roads are paved.
Trains purr incessantly.
By the same token, ships and the sound
of their foghorn.

But when you decide to come back,
the seas start to rage. The sky gets cloudy,
and the blankets of snow block the roads.

I would love for you to come back,
but don’t; the world will be
in sheer chaos!


Siavash Saadlou was born and raised in Iran. He is a writer, literary translator, and teacher. Saadlou is the authorized translator of Rasool Yoonan, the minimalist Iranian poet. His translations have appeared in Washington Square Review, Indian Review, Visions International, Blue Lyra Review, Writing Disorder, and Asymptote. He is an MFA creative writing candidate and a teaching fellow at Saint Mary’s College of California.