Posts Tagged ‘wushdan’





In dark times it is sometimes hard

to speak of joy—not because


it doesn’t exist but because

of the guilt in feeling it.


The dark clots our arteries,

it keens in our ears, floods the streets.


Still, my friend sends me a word—

wushdan. It’s pronounced like swush,


she says, not swoosh. Wushdan.

I say it aloud, and the syllables


hush my tongue. It means,

she says, “heart awareness,


conscience,” as in a practice

of inner discipline. Wushdan,


I say again, as if to speak a word

is to know the secrets harboring


inside it for centuries.

The root, says my friend, is wush,


which is Persian, means joy.

It feels as if someone


has slipped me a piece of chocolate

in math class during a test.


Or as if, while reading

the headlines of war I look out


the window and see the big brown eyes

of a doe looking unwaveringly


into mine. And I put the paper down

and watch out the window


until the light is gone.

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