Published in the Daily Star Literature Page, June 2009.


(Neda Agha Soltan. 1982-2009. Tehran.)


As we sit here and remember you, the calmness of
eyes we had never seen before is overthrown
and muddied; the chant of a million voices deadened,
briefly, in the silence of yours;

as we sit here and remember you,
green becomes black right before our eyes
and right becomes blood.

And only in the death throes that we have never known
do we hear how you call to us.

We speak because, finally, it is silence that means death.
We die, for it takes more than death to silence us.