Issue #11

قربونت برم

(ɢoɾˈbunet̪ ˌbeɾæm)


1. i am your martyr

Yasmeen Namazie

mama mitra kisses me goodbye in farsi / once on both cheek / she says “ghorboonet beram” / i will die for you / or / may i be sacrificed for you / or / i am your martyr

and i think, love must be more patient in farsi / love must take longer to steep in farsi

/ i think, maybe things would be different if i had loved you in my baba’s tongue / had

i surrendered my flavor slower / more cautiously / had i trusted you to surround me /

drown me / in the embrace of your cardamon heart / had i loosened and softened my

edges / 

but i wasn’t your martyr / and i sacrificed my spices before enjoying their fragrance /

how sweet we could have been

Yasmeen Namazie is recent Swarthmore College graduate and Research Fellow at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. Of Chilean and Iranian descent, Yasmeen believes that poetry is her inheritance from her radical lineage, spanning the likes of Rumi and Pablo Neruda to center collective power, radical love, and community. She dreams of one day moving to Chile to drink pisco sour, write more poetry, and reconnect with her radical leftist origins. You can connect with her on Instagram to see more of her poetic ruminations.


Stephanie Athena Valente

i am so many things, but mostly:

the face with dark circles, fingers pulling the seltzer can tab

a fake blonde with dusky roots and tattooed eyebrows

i’ll tell you i love you after four seltzers,

no i’m not drunk, my legs are longer than my arms

just a woman with a husky dog, we speak in other languages

doll lips and meat and whimpers in the sun

i am all of these things, stronger than you could imagine

rib bones and soft stomach, i’m telling you the truth

oh, i would like to be make-believe, a movie star

smiling into you, the camera

let’s fall in love with our reflections,

i am quite something you know.

Stephanie Athena Valente lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her published works include Hotel Ghost, waiting for the end of the world, and Little Fang (Bottlecap Press, 2015-2019). She has work included in Reality Hands, TL;DR, and Cosmonauts Avenue. She is the associate editor at Yes, Poetry. Sometimes, she feels human.