Three Poems by Hossein Nazari


you return home
with a million little hopes
with love
with dreams
with passion
with memories bittersweet 
with loved ones left behind
with lips that tremble
and hands that wave and disappear
and arms that hold you in tight embrace
with loved ones wishing you a safe trip
and praying to God to protect you
amid the onlookers’ puzzled gaze 
you disappear behind sliding doors
and choke a million unsaid words
you are heading away

with a million hopes
you return home
to land
to motherland
to turf
to other loves and arms and kisses
to warmth
to familiar faces
to the smell of fresh baked bread
to the smell of home
only to find yourself
torn apart


i carry
dismembered memories
in my suitcase 
fractured dreams
in my skull
i carry 
in my pockets
on my back
i carry 
a million shattered hopes
in my backpack
a million cries
in my eyes
i keep the smiles 
close to my heart.

i set off to the airport
and murmur a prayer
under my breath
my luggage
full of You
and i think to myself
if only they knew 
what i’m smuggling into their turf!


of heartwarming welcomes
and heartbreaking farewells
of always-late arrivals
and too-early departures
of loved ones 
that fade away 
behind tears 
and sliding doors

where hearts grow fonder
and distances reappear
where fears deepen
hopes shatter
lips tremble
kisses freeze
and i curse
all the return tickets
that took everyone I ever loved 
to unknown horizons
beyond tears and sliding doors.

airports, bloody airports!

Artwork: from “La casa dell’emigrante” by Agim Sulaj

Sulaj is an Albanian painter born in 1960 in Albania.

About Hossein Nazari 2 Articles
Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature, and also a poet, translator, and researcher based in Tehran, Iran.

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