To think that the outlines of one person’s body are another person’s borders and in making someone your homeland you draw and define your own geography. And that we are all bodies and our bodies home to ones who get caught in the barbed wires of our frontiers trying to escape. And that we are forever prisoners of the bodies we have gotten ourselves stuck in and no mileage is great enough, no distance far enough, to forget who we come from.
Some bodies, in the way they hover over you, when reaching for something beyond and past you, shape a flesh colored dome. Like the sacred arch of a mosque they beam with holiness, divinity. Some bodies, in the way they arch over you summon prayer… and all you want to do being the body that lies under that holy arch of flesh that stretches and casts a shadow over your hazy eyes; is to come up, as in after a dive, as in from under water, and kiss it. You want to kiss it, superstitiously, like kissing an exalted shrine that will grant your wishes. You want to kiss it with closed eyes and pursed lips the way you get ready to blow out your birthday candles. You want to kiss it while making a wish that you can kiss it longer, that this body would arch over you time and time again… that you can be home to the shadow it casts. That you can be host to the heat it emanates. Some bodies are both altars and prayer mats.
There are certain people, to whom, the notion of time as the world knows it doesn’t exist… their clocks are armless and even though the sun rises and sets as it does normally, with them, in the air around them, the day dissolves into night and to day again like an impressionist painting. And when you enter their world and you sit with them you know you may never want to leave because for all its oddness that timeless-zone sucks you in. Yet they are charming for the permanence they deny you, for the temporality of their company and their world, for making you feel forever like the tourist. And one fine morning or rainy night that timeless world and its god leave your life together… as abruptly as they had happened to you. As if to set the clock back or turn it ahead for one hour. As if that whole hour didn’t matter. Like the pointless effort of daylight saving on an already dying day.
Naghmeh Sharifi was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1983. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts and one in Psychology from the University of British Columbia (2006). She is currently completing her MFA degree in Painting and Drawing at Concordia University.
Her work has been exhibited internationally in Tehran, Mexico City, Berlin, Los Angeles and Montreal. Poems have appeared in Serai Magazine, Montreal in 2006.