All Bodies by Darius Atefat-Peckham

As in every language,
there are different words
for all bodies

of water. Somehow
it still surprises me
how many. Like the goldfish

who died one after
another in the days leading up
to Nowruz, the New Year

at their budding
lips. There are rules:

I don’t know them yet.
From what I can tell,
rood-khaneh is House

of River. The Ocean
The Seas. You will find

fountains and springs
in any suburban
yard, children’s hands

submerged within them.
And you can become
imprisoned in any

window you see
through. Once
kayaking, my small

boat flips over
in the rapids. I become
like a fish, betrayed

by my own opened
mouth. For fourteen days
I drown in my

great-grandma’s kitchen,
and the sabzeh grows
backwards into

itself. The rings
of my scales sound
outwards. My belly

splitting open
the surface. I pretend-
die like this, watching

the people twirl together
like water-bugs, some heaven
above me. A young boy

wades over to watch
me, from the other side
of the glass, eating

myself to death.


Date: 2022

By: Darius Atefat-Peckham (19??- )

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