Ali Abdolrezaei

Earthquake

She raises a finger
Excuse me teacher!	

If the holy cow1 slips
tin roofs falling over
under lots of iron beams would we always die?

the teacher      a tremour slipping down his face
pulled the pocket bottoms off his hands
and heavens            fell down on the Nth class
crushed benches
lessons fallen from children's hands
and the walls      what dreams they harboured for the inhabitants
except for      a hand that appeared out of the rubble
rose the sound of a finger!

Excuse me Sir!
May I    get up!?

—Ali Abdolrezaei

Translated into English by Abol Froushan.

1According to an ancient Persian Myth of Creation, the earth rotates on the horn of a bull. Legend had it that if the bull coughed, the earth would slip off its horn, causing an earthquake.

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