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Tower of Silence: The Birds

by Khashayar Mohammadi

if the high priest unsheathes the dagger

it’s because against a libidinous cosmology

sacrifice is the most economical

she will fill the community pool with blood

and only let the most daring swim

in the rotten river of glory

my narrative is resolved only in the finite

no matter how many cycles the infinite repeats

its laziness comes with speculation

I too would have opinions

I too would forego tonight’s rations

I too would leave the bonfire

for a glimpse of the temporal

when the high priest blocked the path forward

it was a grand transgression

for us to be “Ancients”

we must first lose our footing

must first cease

as innovation



Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi (he/they) is a queer, Iranian born, Toronto-based Poet, Writer and Translator. They were shortlisted for the 2021 Austin Clarke poetry prize, they are the winner of the 2021 Vallum Poetry Prize, and they are the author of three poetry chapbooks and two translated poetry chapbooks. Their debut poetry collection Me, You, Then Snow is out with Gordon Hill Press. Their second book, WJD, is forthcoming in a double volume with the translation of Saeed Tavanaee’s The OceanDweller from Gordon Hill Press fall 2022. Their collaborative poetry manuscript with poet Klara Du Plessis is forthcoming with Palimpsest Press Fall 2023.


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