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Thursday, September 27, 2012


by Judith Terzi

Eugène:        Why do you question the Holocaust?

Mahmoud:    Rabbits are hiding under lounge chairs.
                      Hares under chairs. Pears in pairs. Pears

                      in pairs.

Eugène:        You had doubts before. Do you still have
                      doubts, Mr. President?

Mahmoud:    Snow has just fallen in Telluride. I mean
                      Teheran. Bears hiding under stares. Bare
                      facts. Four and four are more. Or less.
                      There's a parasol in Paraguay. Onions
in Ontario. A parka in Parchin. A home
                      in Homs.

Eugène:        What should happen in Syria, Mr. President?

Mahmoud:    Snowflakes on women's eyelashes are beautiful.

Eugène:        Why is Faezeh Rafsanjani in prison?

Mahmoud:    Desperate housewives are lonely. This is not art.
                      This is a pipe. This is a schoolboy's project.
Bar codes glued to a canvas. Yellowy newspapers.
                      A faded blue hydrangea growing in the distance.
                      The distance may be a close-up option. Two plus
                      two under Assad's shoe. I like flowers. Les fleurs?

Eugène:        Have you read my play, Rhinoceros?

Mahmoud:    Mrs. Martin's tomatoes are rotten. Mrs. Smith's
                      mouth is dry. Fermez la bouche. We have no bald 
sopranos in Iran. We must educate against this. 
My lips are licked. Bugs under rugs. Tornadoes 
                      in Toledo. Gazelles in Gaza. Pachyderms left 
                      to die in zoos. Peace be with you. Vive la France!

Judith Terzi is a poet living in Southern California where she taught high school French for many years. Her poetry has received nominations for Best of the Net and Web and awards and recognition from journals such as dotdotdash, Mad Hatters', and Newport Review. Poems are forthcoming in American Society: What Poets See (FutureCycle Press), Poetry Project Erotic Poem Anthology (Tupelo Press), and elsewhere. Sharing Tabouli was published by Finishing Line in 2011.