for Vivian Silver

I lose my mirror
and break the stone

I lose my leaves
and uproot the vine

I shed my feathers
and fall into the dust—

cut my ears
and become a mouth

dry my tears
and become a desert

trace my features
in the features of suffering—

I become a war zone—

flatten you and yours
into a ball of blood—

There is no going back
to songs of innocence—

Peace is a bereaved mountain
at the bottom of the sea


Bänoo Zan is a poet, librettist, translator, teacher, editor and poetry curator, with more than 250 published poems and poetry-related pieces as well as three books including Songs of Exile and Letters to My Father. She is the founder of Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), Toronto’s most diverse and brave poetry reading and open mic series (inception: 2012). Her social media links are: LinkedIn; Instagram; Facebook; Twitter. Bänoo, along with Cy Strom, is the co-editor of the poetry anthology: “Woman, Life, Freedom: Poems for the Iranian Revolution.” Deadline for sending poems is March 2024. Find the submission guidelines here: Read other articles by Bänoo.