I am Crawded by Time

I was late today because I was on the phone with my sister planning a two week trip around Europe. We haven’t seen each other in four months. Way too long considering we lived an hour away from each other, more like ten states, or two vodka shots, or one broken jeep and a trench full of rain from each other. I was late today to plan for some sisterhood. I was late today to make time for myself, herself, and ourselves. I am late today which on other days isn’t late.


Other days, it’s thirty minutes right on time. Other days, it’s a photograph of two lovers embracing in momentary perfection. Two pints in one conversation. A biographical account and a pitied confession. On other days, I wouldn’t be late today. But you see, it started because my sister and I are planning a trip, and our minds are already on vacation. We are already freed from the “traditional” form of life (if there is such a thing!), and we have been freed from the inescapable: time.


So I am not late today,

and I won’t be considered late



Ha! Poetry

Ha! Poetry is what?

Comparing a flower to the complexity of a woman’s face?

Taking the magnificence of a sunset and lowering it down to the level of a canvas’s paints?

Or taking something catastrophic like a combusting star and comparing it to a high schooler’s day?

Or is it the ability to rhyme?

To be able to chime, 

with other words,

so that it flows like a song sung by birds.

Or is it finding something small?

Something not really there at all,

and bringing it to life

with such expression that one begins to cry.

Or is it made to make one shout?

To speak against the trends, 

the ongoing bends

in the road,

never righting itself?

Well then, I must be a poet.


(Originally published in Toyon magazine 2005)

Peter Pan

When I was a little girl,
I believed Peter Pan
visited me in my dreams.
Eyes closed
I smiled
We lived in the trees
viridescent friends
eating from the Earth.
In the river’s embrace
we were truly free.




(Published in “Dream a Little Dream” (#28) by The Wild Word 2018. https://thewildword.com/poetry-ae-sadeghipour/)

Persian has no Pronouns

We do not address you
by a word that means nothing

Her name is more powerful
than their pronouns

We do not hide behind I
when expressing me

Do not take it offensively

They don’t understand this
His tryst
When it is he and she but not we

There is no power in you

They, us and we
are arbitrary

The man is she
and the woman is he
but we are it

Do not forfeit
to this
unnecessary metaphor


(Published in “Seven Countries Poetry Anthology” by Arroyo Seco Press 2017. Originally published on 06/17/2016)

Cinema Rex


The police burned the theater.
Padlocked the door
with people still inside.
They doused the theater
in kerosene
and crossed the street
to watch it burn.
Whether the theater attendees
were heretics or
is irrelevant.

The image of their
melting faces
haunts me.
The outsiders who weren’t afraid
clawed at the padlock.
The police smiled as they
cocked their guns and
flicked their cigarette butts.

Purging a necessary evil,
the event must be cleansed,
evidence destroyed.
The police were just doing their job.

But there was a survivor.
A fuzzy black and white Polaroid
of a gasoline truck in front of a charred poster.
The only survivor
incineration inevitable
but like Winston
I let it go down the chute
and now it has been burned away
charred in forgetful memories.

(Published in “Seven Countries Poetry Anthology” ” via Arroyo Seco Press 2017)

(Originally published on 06/03/2016. Image transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by BanyanTree using CommonsHelper.; source: http://abadan.net, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6081274)

Mother Tongue

Sometimes I wish

I was born white and blank.

My eyes survey the room in technicolor

Charlie Chaplin spectrum of silence.

I scream and

water pours out

of my mouth

My hands clutch

my face

everyone turns

and stares.

The dark man

in the back


but smiles white.

My colors are spilling


I’m asked to clean it up

handed a sieve.

I fill the porous container

and stumble towards the window.

A river trails behind me

Iridescent scars slashed across the floor.

I try to throw it

out the window

but the sieve is empty.

I laugh.

Then I sing

a kaleidoscopic downpour

and I douse myself with it.

(Published in “Hell Bitches #3”  via Radish 2017 & “Seven Countries Poetry Anthology” via Arroyo Seco Press 2017)

Originally published on 06/03/2016


Who Were You?

The silk nightgown hung loose ending
just above your knees
as you frantically run between bedroom and closet.
You have a house now, all your own.
And two dogs, all your own.

You’re not married,
but you were never one for

emotionless paperwork.
You have five children,
just like your mother.
And you can make people laugh,
just like your father.
You have green eyes of the emerald isle,
yet the life behind them is from a different place.

Who were You?
What names were you called by?
What were your hopes, dreams,
What drove you?
Who were you?

I see the Annie in the pictures with the pink.

I see the Anne in green.
I see the wife in white,
and the mother in red.

But who were you?

I know the stories.

Do you see yourself in me?
Were you, too, the square whose that hurts itself
moving like a circle?

You have seen me as I was, am, and will be.
But who were you?
Is Annie gone never to return?
Will I see her on the street and not recognize her?
Would I like her?
Would she like me?

love me?

When were you divided?
The woman sawed in half,
The hopeless housewife,
The interrogator,
The stubborn independent,

The befriender.

Who were you?

So furiously standing alone,

So desperately wishing someone would hold you,
stroke your hair, and tell you it would get better.

I see myself in you.
I love you, with my voice, my soul.
You still wear that nightgown,
but you have long since shed that skin.

(Published in the Matrix Feminist Literary Magazine 2009)

I Shall Urinate in the Men’s Bathroom!

I shall urinate in the men’s bathroom!
I shall read Maxim magazine,
I shall reclaim colors like blue and black,
and maybe even green.

I will drink beer while watching football,
play Halo 3 with SK3W,
confess to peers the worst of sins,
while watching pornography too.

I will shout the obscenest of words,
though I’m sure there’s some that I missed.

Hunting, fishing, biking, hiking,
all of these I claim.
I shall urinate in the men’s bathroom!
I will make everything the same.

(Winner of the 2009 Toyon and Sherry Debrowski Prize for Best Feminist Multi-Genre Fiction)

Goodbye: Khoda Hafez

It was about seven o’clock in the morning in the year 1993 when my mother decided to sit me down at the faded yellow picnic table that we used as a dinning room table. I remember sitting there on the hard wood chair and giggling softly as the chair rocked back and forth due to its shorter front leg. I continued to giggle my high pitched six year old giggle until my mom reached across the vast table and grabbed my tiny hands with hers. She stared hard at me with her emerald.

“Allia, it’s time for you to pay attention. You have to listen now. I need you to go to your room and pack up as much stuff as you can into your little Sleeping Beauty backpack.”

“But where are we going mom?”

“We’re going to see Miggie and Papa in Ohio.”

“Oh! Yay!”

After hearing the news I hurriedly ran to my room and began packing as many toys as I could fit into my little pink backpack. Polly Pockets, Littlest Pet Shop, Barbies, all my toys were crammed into my little backpack. After attempting to zip it up, my mom came into my room to check on my progress. My mother was silent. She delicately pulled out all my toys and replaced the empty void with my rainbow colored clothes.

“But Mommy, why can’t I bring my toys?”

“Sweetheart, we can only take what you can fit in your backpack.”

“But Mommy, I can’t leave them behind. They’re my friends.”

“I’m sorry, Sweetie, but we have to leave them behind.”

My little lip pouted out, expressing my stubbornness, and I crossed my tiny arms tightly across my chest. My mother looked at me and smiled softly, kissed me on my cheek, and left the room.

My dad came home at around five that night, much earlier then normal. He didn’t say a word. He just looked at my mother and told her that it was time to leave. My mother helped me put on my black wool coat and my peacock patterned shawl. I never minded wearing my big girl coat and pretty shawl. I had always enjoyed playing dress up.

We walked out of the front door of the apartment and the lock clicked louder then normal. We walked down the darkly lit hallway that smelled of saffron that leaked out from the other apartments. Out on the cool night street the taxis zoomed by, a blur of yellow. A small white van sputtered and jerked to a stop in front of us. The door slid open to expose the riders inside. Aunts, uncles, grandma, everybody in my family were there and I was temporarily blinded by all their glimmering white smiles.

After 15 minutes of silent driving we arrived at the Iranian International Airport. My father climbed out of the van and began unloading our luggage. His brown skin glistened with sweat and his black hair clung tightly to his forehead. I stepped out of the van onto the yellow curb alongside my family. I began to be covered in loving kisses and soft salty tears as I told my family “Bye, Bye”. I told them that they should not cry over my goodbye. “Don’t cry. You’ll see me again.” I told them. After a few minutes they began to lumber back into the white sputtering van, occasionally turning around to stare back at me with tear filled eyes.

I turned my tiny body around and faced solid steel double doors. Though the doors were made of steel they were terribly faded and looked as if they would fall apart at the slightest touch. Above the doors was a rusted sign bolted to the wall. To Gangway. My neck craned upward as I stared at my father through my brown almond eyes. He let out a heavy sigh and pushed open the doors. There was a long hallway illuminated a sickly yellow. The linoleum at my feet was worn and emitted no reflection of the light above, giving the hallway an even more lifeless appearance. On both sides of the hallway, acting as its walls, was bulletproof glass held together by steel and bolts. I timidly began to walk along side my father occasionally tripping over my own feet in the attempt to keep up with his. My mother glided quietly behind us with her green hooded head staring at her feet, occasionally whimpering. We began to walk down the gangway.

Time stopped.

Slowly, as I peeked through my peacock colored shawl, I saw what these hideous glass walls were trying to keep out. They were people. People as far as my tiny vision could see. They were like a sea of black and brown moving and churning preparing for the storm. Surrounded by the black sea, I saw the ivory faces of these dark ghosts. An old lady with sunken eyes had white hair that pierced out from under her shawl. Her mouth consisted of pink gums and no more then 7 yellow teeth. She kept screeching at us. They were all screaming for us to take them or help them to get out. I was so scared. My knees began to give out on me and my mouth grew dry. The tears stretched down my face in continual streams. My grip grew tight on my father’s hand. Don’t let me go, please don’t let me go. My vision began to fade and slowly blurred and my grip on my father’s hand began to loosen. Oh no! No I don’t want to be left here. Please no!

I faded into darkness.

When I awoke I was on a plane flying over the Atlantic Ocean. I sat by the aisle and my mom sat hunched over by the window. I could not see her face but I could see the wet tear stains on her lap. She was sobbing terribly. I had loved Iran and at that time, I did not understand why we had left. The revolution had come, the Shah was overthrown, and Americans were no longer safe there. At that moment I understood why my mother was crying so hard. My goodbye that I had told my family was permanent. I would never see them again.

The mother cries. The daughter understands.

(Winner of the 2008 Toyon and Sherry Debrowski Prize for Best Feminist Multi-Genre Fiction)