Taraneh Moeini – Poems

Phase 1: Thoughts become things

The only things within reach are the

snippets of comfort when held.

The only things within reach are the things that are out of one’s control;

don’t turn over, you might choke,

you can’t lift yourself, arms are too weak, fingers are too chubby,

head hurts although it shouldn’t.

Walking becomes second nature

not quite, walking is hard.

Legs too weak, too chubby, they’re out of my control.

Is walking within reach? Even turning over?

I’ve decided that it is.

I can hardly understand, what is it, English?

English is dumb. Walking is dumb.

Of or becoming out of reach isn’t up to me, just yet.

I haven’t known secrets, or trust, or loyalty, or disappointment, or anger, or depression, or joy, or pride, or the sense of one’s best friend, or what it’s like to have an ex friend, or have a birthday party, or get invited to a birthday party, or, god

forbid, not get invited to a birthday party, or to get married, or to have children, or to grow old, or read to The Giving Tree for the first time, or watch a movie, or to imagine myself as Alice in Alice In Wonderland, or even Absolem, or drugs, or alcohol, or peer pressure, or a high school social ladder, or to try and climb said ladder, or space, or evolution, or to fail math, or even to feel perfectly content.

Are any of these within reach?

Not yet.

Maybe not ever.

I’ve only known love.

Phase 2: The Break in a Neverending Cycle

Eat, sleep, sleep more, repeat.

Sleep, eat, sleep more, eat, sleep, repeat.

Sleep, sleep, sleep, eat, eat, eat, sleep, repeat.

Sleep, eat, listen, sing, eat, sleep more, repeat.

….listen, sing,….

Listen sing?

Phase 3: Decision Making is Always Life or Death

Alas, inevitable self destruction,

I need to calm down,

it’s too much to choose from. Red, yellow, blue, green, circle,

square, triangle, star.

I choose a yellow star.

You chose poorly.

Okay then, what about a red square?

Not quite.

Alright, fine…blue circle? I cringe.

Am I a joke to you?

I cringe even more. What will they say about me if I choose a green triangle? Will they accept me into this tall tale or, more obviously note that

you never choose a green triangle! You shouldn’t be here!

What are you even doing?

I’m only left with so much,

pink rectangle,

brown oval,

orange moon,

no, no, no, no, you clearly have no idea what you’re doing. I knew this was a terrible idea, what will they say? Tell me? What will they sa-

I sit on the yellow star.

She smiles at me.

This is good.

Phase 4: Sacrificial Love

The men sit on their eggs for the females,

possibly not for the females but for themselves,

though they’d never care to admit it.

But, hey!

Let the men sit on their eggs for it is written

in whatever book we were reading that day,

the emperors,

the macaroni and cheese,

the accidental sacrifice of hey you,

yeah you,

we need to eat, so it would be cool if you just,

you know,

just jumped into the water really quickly?

If you’re not eaten than we can throw a party,

but if you are than we can choose the next fool

to repeat these actions of “love”.

But is it fair to assume such a judgment?

Who are we to call this absolute hero a fool?

Some are just unlucky, but why are women always the hunter-gatherers?

These men sit on these eggs and converse about what their wives

will bring them for dinner that night,

where they can eat and sit and do absolutely nothing but keep their eggs

warm.

I don’t understand this,

and it’s because I shouldn’t,

I should sit and learn and accept

but never ask questions.

Penguins are strange,

the men sit on the eggs of their soon-to-be children,

while the women trudge

whistle

waddle

and work.

Phase 5: They Gave You Skin

They’re sitting in whichever car their father brought home the previous day,

quite a young age,

youngin’,

juvenile,

they don’t want to go to school that day.

What if I got a tattoo when I was older?

Why would you say something like that? Let me explain something,

his tone wasn’t condescending, or scolding, or disgusted,

God gave us the gift of skin

they went to catholic school, but they’re father wasn’t religious

God gave you the gift of skin

and when you get a tattoo you ruin that skin

it still wasn’t scolding, or condescending, or forceful

it’s hurts too much for too little

you’re ruining beautiful skin

skin that is a gift.

His tone hadn’t yet shifted to fit what he was saying,

it remained calm.

Sometimes their father told them things for the benefit of others.

Sometimes he said things he didn’t really believe,

but they were things he assumed other parents told their children,

but that’s okay.

That’s perfectly alright.

He was still new at this.

Phase 6: The Ruffles On My Shirt

Sometimes you don’t remember to take a jacket

and sometimes

if you’re lucky

that won’t matter.

Sometimes you don’t have a jacket to take

and sometimes

if you’re patient

you’ll soon get one.

Sometimes you’re embarrassed of the jacket you have

and sometimes

if you’re strong-willed

you’ll get through it.

Sometimes you see others with better jackets

and sometimes

if you have the time

you’re happy for them.

Who are you to call me out for my jacket, or lack-there-of?

You don’t know me

you abuse my age

you think that because of my jacket-ness

you’re automatically inclined

to tell me to

wear a jacket next time or you’ll get the wall…

It makes me so frustrated I could cry!

I could cry out

I don’t have a jacket

or

I’m embarrassed of my jacket

or

my mother leaves for work early in the morning so I never get to say goodbye!

But instead I just huff,

and whisper

okay

because I don’t like getting scolded at by adults,

and I don’t like my age being used against me,

and I don’t like it when they assume they know.

Interlude: Fashion Killer

I had the messiest hair all of elementary school,

but my father tried his best,

as he does with everything.

My mother begrudgingly taught him how to comb my knots into a floppy low pony,

but I guess she didn’t teach him well enough. I received a multitude of comments on the ever-decreasing state of my golden hair, and as the timid child I once was, this did nothing for my paralleling self esteem.

The times when I graduated from the floppy low pony to the athletic headband (for the sake of others, never for myself, what a recurring theme) and down combination were a blur. If I could go back and do it all again I would wear the barrettes my mom would buy me instead of discarding them in embarrassment- how ungrateful.

All these years of pent up personality blew up

after I crossed the threshold

between a floppy low pony,

and the elegance, simplicity,

and never correctly used

flat iron, and eventually

when I was tired of that,

the beautiful door of really

not caring opened for me;

I stayed in that room of the house for quite a while.

Phase 7: Another Run In With The Law

Teenagers should get at least sixty minutes of physical exercise each day.

Roll down your sleeves!

No.

He’s angered those figures yet again

he’s reserved the right to speak now

because he’s angered those little figures again.

Now you’ll have to go see the littlest figure of them all

his face heats up and he

runs

short of breath

he’s never been good with confrontation,

especially when it comes to the little figures.

It’s your lucky day,

It’s always his lucky day

he couldn’t remember the last time he was unlucky.

Because I don’t have time to walk you down to the littlest figure’s office

as if he couldn’t walk down himself

So I’ll just let you off with a warning

never talk back to a little figure

it’s simple respect

your opinions are irrelevant

due to circumstances no one can control because

you and I can’t speed up time,

you know if I could I would speed all the way to retirement

I’d be speeding so fast

the time police would have to give me a ticket,

speaking of tickets-

because I hate my job

he hates your job too-

so let this be a warning.

Maybe he should have just rolled up his sleeves

if he had just rolled up his sleeves

and kept quiet

this would have been so much

easier.

Phase 8: Cancel Culture

Who to weed out and who not to weed out.

I’ve been deceived yet again

but also

deceived is kind of a pretentious word,

isn’t it?

I’m so high

that crossing me is considered

heresy.

I’m no prophet

but I feel as though I’ve been deceived

and by being deceived you incline me

the right to weed you out

like unwanted greenery,

literal greenery,

the envy bleeding from your face

screams

let me out!

nay,

weed me out!

do it!

you won’t!

envy is such a nasty color, it’s my favorite!

you won’t!

Oh, but I will

because no earthly being can be celestial

because that then defeats the purpose of the word

but I can consider myself a prophet

if I would like.

But you wouldn’t like that, would you?

Because you wish you could call yourself a prophet of

Mother Nature,

or father nature,

or whatever.

I guess women deserve a little something

so we’ll give them the inconsiderable

task of

being our entire world.

but I’m getting too far ahead of myself,

allow me to weed you out very quickly

because you’ve established your place in my world

and I want it

gone.

Phase 9: Star Cross’d Fruit

A cloud the shape of a grape hovers above

their head,

but what exactly does a grape-shaped cloud look like?

What exactly does a grape-shaped anything look like?

A small kite streams overhead

blocking such a view.

I don’t think the kite intended to block this view,

but it’s all the kite knows,

so how can I blame it?

I’m sure that kite grew up in a family where

success

pride

intelligence

and law was prioritized,

or rather,

and please forgive me for saying this, kite,

shoved forcefully down those six children’s throats

like sandpaper.

That grape-cloud has so much mercy

letting the kite block it from seeing them,

because the grape-cloud feels bad,

really feels bad,

so they put up with it until the end of this cycle..

But we haven’t even asked ourselves the most important questions!

Sandpaper isn’t shoved down anyone’s throat?

I guess not where you’re from it isn’t…

Phase 9: Judging is Easy

I don’t listen to my first CD anymore,

my mother, she made it for me,

I was ecstatic.

Sometimes I miss my old CD player, but then I realize

that I don’t.

I’ve missed my home,

or rather that house,

it’s not mine anymore.

Packing was- for lack of a better word- interesting,

my brother doesn’t let things go,

he couldn’t let things go even if he wanted to.

Putting blame on someone is just indirectly

screwing yourself over.

Responsibility is a necessity,

being held accountable,

but is it really?

My brother doesn’t hold him himself accountable for anything,

but he’s doing very well.

That’s okay,

I guess it’ll catch up to him eventually.

Many things remind me of that house

how horrible is it to wish failure on someone else?

Especially your own brother,

I don’t feel guilty though,

I hope he fails and then learns to pick himself up again,

and treat it as a learning experience,

but knowing him

he’ll pull some

It wasn’t my fault in the first place,

so why should I learn from it?

What a twisted moral compass he has.

Phase 10: Yikes

I don’t feel as though this service experience has heightened my

relationship with God.

You don’t believe in God anymore?

No, that’s not what I’m saying,

I just don’t feel any closer to them then I did before.

I can’t believe you don’t believe in Him anymore,

your mother with her stars

and moons

and suns

it’s all blasphemy

that school was supposed to be an influence on you

she didn’t send you there for you to become an atheist!

I’m not an atheist, I never said that

you can’t hear me

just listen-

your father doesn’t believe in God either

you’ll go to hell if you don’t.

I’m not sure how many more times I can tell you-

You said you don’t have relationship with him anymore!

You don’t understand the prompt,

you can’t hear me.

I can’t find it in me to believe what others want me to,

your eggs are on planet sushi,

the straightest pathway to heaven is believing He died for our sins,

you’re a sinner,

you’re stubborn because you were born at this time,

none of it makes any sense.

At least when I’m persecuted for allegedly

not believe in God anymore she’ll tell me to my face,

instead of trying to sneak it around my back like

the person I respect most does.

You don’t know what you’re talking about,

but I forgive you.

Final Interlude: Grand-parents Day

I haven’t mourned many people in my life,

a few.

Two out of the four grandparents,

three of them are gone.

Is lack of mourning good or bad?

Do I not know hardships of this life,

and does that make me ignorant?

I’ve only ever been to one funeral,

it was extremely fun.

i was small and got to eat plenty,

because I didn’t understand what happened.

if I went to a funeral now I wouldn’t eat a single thing.

Mourning a part of yourself you’ve lost seems ostentatious,

but I’m sure that’s just me.

I haven’t lost anything,

does a beetle miss the exoskeleton it sheds?

I’ve lost three grandparents,

one past self,

and mourned two out of the four.

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