I am twenty one. I am a homosexual. I like the afternoon sun.
My Apartment is in the outskirts of town. Near the wharf. In a place that is the realm of seashells, the realm of corals, adjacent to the eternal sorrow of the turtles.
My mother lives in the waters. In the remains of an old ship. On a bed of seaweed. Her hair blazes like a silver crown above her head. My mother is always naked. She visits me every now and then. At my apartment in the outskirts of town.
She first crosses the wharf. She floats in the scattered scents of the bazaar. Then she pays a visit to the crowd of fishermen in the seaside cafés. Among their wares, a hidden pearl. And she leaves them and heads for my bed. Of course, along this entire route, she is no less naked.
Poker; that is what I call him. He is my only friend. We met during military training. He is twenty-one. He likes the afternoon sun and he is not a homosexual.
I consider this a threat. I have never talked to anyone about my sexual inclination. In fact, I hide it. Even from my few sexual partners. With them, I pretend it is my first such experience.
My sexual partners are night prowlers. Strangers. Poker is not a night prowler. Poker is not a stranger. And this is chipping away at me from the inside!
Translated from the Persian by Sara Khalili