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I saw my name printed under a nude picture.
I am a missing girl,
Living far from his ruins.

He wants to find me,
He who gave me a plate,
He who found me a shelter.

I obeyed him blindly,
he demanded my body to belong,
I gave him my soul mistakenly.

He drew a line
A line I despised,
A line I couldn’t cross.

One night a quake fractured my wall,
but my portraits didn’t fall.
They disappeared one by one,
He got richer,
neglecting the fracture on my soul.

When I asked him to kiss me,
He said why?
I said no reason.
He said he liked me more when I was shy.
I told him my secret:
“A mountain is growing on my back.”
He asked me to be quiet
I was not there to cross the line.

I stayed young in his portraits,
He grew old,
Until the wall collapsed one night.

He lay beside me unconscious,
I stared at his closed eyes,
I knew then there was never love between us.
We were buried alive,
Breathing became our desire for affluence.

When I woke him up,
he climbed the mountain on my back,
We stayed in the ruin until dawn.
The mountain was now gone.
My back was free,
I could stand tall.

He looked into my eyes,
“Why did everything have to change?
You are here on the ground level,
Your portraits down below,
Run! Fetch me help!”

I kissed his lips and ran out there in the field.
I heard he is still searching,
and I am still missing.

Niloufar-Lily Soltani is a Canadian poet, literary translator, and fiction writer. Her poems and translated work have been published in literary magazines. Her debut novel, Zulaikha, will be published by Inanna Publications in spring 2022. Lily is a Humber College creative writing graduate and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
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