Press your face on the wall and take a deep, deep, breath!
Next to the scent of fried garlic and raspberry jam,
rows of red mud bricks forming a wall in my lungs.
There was a window next to her weaving loom.
Her bed was hidden behind the loom.
Her tender figure walked religiously around the tiny apartment,
telling stories of a house woven out of her tireless fingers;
A three-story house my grandfather built and her woven carpets paid for, brick by brick.
I remember that house with its red mud brick walls, two Iwans, six rooms, and a tiled blue pool that chilled our watermelons in the summers of Tehran.
I remember that garden.
On Fridays, my uncle with the garden hose sketched our silhouettes on the brick wall; our boney silhouettes evaporating, leaving an earthy trace in our lungs.
She walked around her tiny apartment telling stories of witty princesses, fairies and genies, lions and mice, and in between the charm of her stories and our afternoon tea, she tied the knots of her memories into her latest carpet.
I did not see her last walk around her tiny apartment;
I was not there when her last carpet was cut off the loom;
I did not hear her last story.
In my lungs, a wall is being made of red mud bricks,
She is still walking
Walls are always mightier than windows,
Walls surround; windows release.
There, between the scent of a wet mud brick wall and the magic of her stories, is a window with tulips on its frame.
Her weaving loom is resting in the light.
*In the memory of my grandmother, our Aziz. Happy International Women’s Day! Happy March 8th!