Nilufar Karimi

Annex, two poems by Nilufar Karimi

ANNEX   |   parts, have, cut, open, place

My head comes undone at the seam where the hair parts       /       or, in this difference we part.

My head comes undone at the seam       /       so I cut a stem with a flower on it       /       bring it to the old seam
& cut the flower off.       /       I used to look for the flower       /       but I stopped.

My arm bends the same way it did       /       so I feel I still have it.

Spring came & the flower (though dead) opened like a drawer       /       I did not see this opening.

It did not see me       /       I

Nilufar       /       did not place myself inside it.

ANNEX   |   late

                      —after Hichkas (Soroush Lashkari)

I don’t know exactly why, but
our kids are moving out. Why

leave through your own middle?
I thought they were tying (why?)

their shoes. How late am I?
Why are the seeds I planted just

now sprouting stems?
I can tell you why

these strangers to our hands bring
blood. But why won’t it reach the brain?

No blood here, Nilufar, nowhere near the brain.
My questions come in gusts. Why are they lost

in the country wind? They blow into
the buds of garden flowers. Why

am I waiting for your answer? For your generous prayer? Among
rosebuds I soak, why does one open its violent red world to me?

—Both written with the Annexes of the US-Iran Nuclear Deal, which outline the enforcement
of economic sanctions depending on “national behavior.”

NILUFAR KARIMI is a poet, essayist and translator. She is the author of the book Nuclear Deal (Noemi Press, 2021) which won the Noemi Press Book Award. Her work has appeared in publications such as World Literature Today, Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins, Denver Quarterly, The Common, West Wind Review and MAKE Magazine and is anthologized in Green Linden Press’s Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and Its Diaspora.