Kitchen God

Nahid Arjouni
Translated from the Persian by Shohreh Laici

Oh dear God who is always in the kitchenreading the names of my pill bottles,please stand back!I must do the dishesand cook something for lunch, whiletalking with you.No, no need to help me, No!I can handle things on my own,I should vacuum my living roomand I won't serve burnt food,I will also answer the phone,and should clean my picture frame, do you remember this photo?I was a little baby girl in this oneand you were so generous to me,I didn't take tranquilizers so often!I could feel your anger after eating strawberries and falling asleep,the day I was thirteen, those white bed sheets and my dreams...sorry to be rude,but you were jealous of my pockets, my girlish purse, and even my wooden jewelry box.Oh dear God who sits in my kitchen!Now I'm a mature woman andI don't hide the things in my pockets.My purse lies open on the table,and I take one tranquilizer every eight hoursand my doctor has given me a prescription: Do not thinkOh, dear God, please pick up your feet.I want to scrub the floor!

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Nahid Arjouni’s poetry is well known for its exploration of femininity and war in the Middle East. She holds a master’s degree in psychology and lives in Sanandaj, the Kurdistan region of Iran. She has three poetry books, published in Iran and Arbil, Iraq.

Shohreh Laici is a Tehran-based author and literary translator. Her works are forthcoming in Asheville Poetry Review, Two Lines Press, and Ezra: An Online Journal of Translation. In addition, Laici has produced a variety of video art and performance-art pieces exploring notions of femininity, language, and social taboos. Her controversial performance work Hills Like White Elephants, loosely based on Ernest Hemingway’s short story, explored the concept of abortion in Iranian patriarchal society.

Two Lines Issue 29

29

San Francisco, California

Center for the Art of Translation

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CJ Evans

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Jessica Sevey

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Emily Wolahan

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