Darius Atefat-Peckham is an Iranian-American poet and essayist. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Texas Review, Brevity, Crab Orchard Review and elsewhere. In 2018, Atefat-Peckham was selected by the Library of Congress as a National Student Poet, the nation’s highest honor presented to youth poets writing original work. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including My Shadow is My Skin: Voices from the Iranian Diaspora (University of Texas Press). Atefat-Peckham currently studies Creative Writing at Harvard College.
Her body moves like current. My Khaleh Nina wore one as she danced. The video is cut so her feet aren’t shown, but I’m sure they are small and nimble because her hands aren’t shaken, yet. She asks of you. Imagine dolls rocking in the arms of an animal caged. In the front of the bus in Tehran, Bibi sits, and women join her, torrents of black. A burning there and she throws her arms to the murk that blankets them. A woman wrapping arms around her waist, bunching her chador against her hip because last week, her feet were large and clumsy and she cracked her cheekbone against the linoleum. Inversed ascension—a body sprawled and bruised and colored.