crossing by Saba Pakdel

Poem title: crossing
Poet name: Saba Pakdel
Poem: home is a motion             
         a wave, smoothing along             
         a movement, expanding in time 
borders, the irony               
        an imagined space               
        between your documented body and I               
        passing through
        one side stands, I 
the other.   

home is beyond your body’s past 
to an aching present 
unwilling to heal
           crossing invisible walls, 
I fall
           presenting a legalized skin, 
I fall
            shielding your birth name, 
I fall into the right category: 
a port   a paper    a pass.   

the frame voice asked impatiently, “where’s home?” 
hesitated I,
               wondering in the empty space of time
               a breath
               a sigh 
a millionth of the second, pinning down 
a temporary stay 

the ocean is crossing 
so is the wind
              from side to (the other) side 
home is a moment, I could’ve said 
the frame voice echoed over the wind
             coming across, “ma’am, where’s home?” 
poetry, I could’ve read  
which homes moments
           forever dis-placed
           memory re-locates 
renew your body’s paper 
every ten years, shedding illegality off your skin.   

the frame voice had no patience  
for me  
for mapping out
          a placeless past           
for translating my history   
a port   a paper    a pass.
End of poem.
Credits and bio: Copyright © Saba Pakdel
This poem was highly commended in the Issue 4 of Loft Books, edited by Claire Cronin.
Saba Pakdel is a poet, modernist scholar, and PhD student in the English department at University of Victoria. She completed her BA and MA in English language and literature in Iran. She earned her second MA in English at Simon Fraser University in 2021. In May 2022, Saba published her chapbook In-Between by above / ground press.