Acid Attack

Bänoo Zan

Translated from the Persian by the author


I burned
by the acid
you threw on my life

if I did not fear
I would not surrender

There was no dialogue
in the wild of horror

I had no right to “no”
no right to see other than you
no right to beauty
without being raped by you

Out of my sight
you are out of my heart

I burned in your hatred—

a disfigured blind
deprived of love
with no right to revenge

You cannot restore
my sight—
my beauty

The fall from deity to demon
is inalterable

no longer are you the god of hearts

the last command is mine
I am not
what you commanded

Even if I fear
I shall not surrender

گفتگو (160)
بانو زن

ای عشق!

از اسیدی که بر هستی ام پاشیدی.

می پنداشتی
اگر از تو نهراسم
به تو تن نخواهم داد.

گفتگویی نبود
در برهوت وحشت

که مرا حق “نه” گفتن
حق دیدن جز تو
حق زیبایی – بدون تجاوز تو-

دیگر در دلم نیستی
که از دیده ام رفته ای.

از نفرتت سوختم
و آن شدم که تو فرمان دادی:
نابینایی مثله
محروم از عشق
بی حق انتقام.

تونمی توانی مرا بینا کنی
نمی توانی مرا دگرباره زیبا کنی.

هبوط از ایزد به دیو
بی بازگشت است:
دیگر نمی توانی
خود را خداوند دل ها کنی.

فرمان آخر از من است
ای عشق!

که آن نشده ام
که تو فرمان دادی

که حتی اگر از تو بهراسم
به تو تن نخواهم داد.


Bänoo Zan landed in Canada in 2010. In her country of origin (Iran) she was an English instructor at universities. She has published poetry, criticism, and translations and writes in Persian and English. Her poetry has appeared in The Calling, Voices, Magnapoets,,, Zanan, and PEN International. Her book, The Song of Phoenix: Life and Works of Sylvia Plath, was reprinted in 2010.

Translator’s Note: This poem was first published in the Persian literary journal, The Mandegar, under the title “Dialogue (160)”. It is one of the poems in a series entitled Dialogues. Each “Dialogue” is a letter to Love from a person called Bänoo Zan.  For the English version, the poet changed the title to “Acid Attack”, as it was inspired by the story of the woman who took her attacker to court and obtained permission to blind him in return but, at the last moment, forgave him.




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