Public Survey

By NILUFAR KARIMI

Public surveillance footage of Tehran, Iran, depicting street stones

Tehran, Iran, through public surveillance footage

all begins slowly like anything else. night. two birds walk together through a cobblestone alley.
the rooster first, then the hen. if I were to invert this order, begin again. there is a pile of bags

a pile of white cloth sacks. the objects transform themselves as I write. two bicycle
tires over the sacks to restrain them. a waiting for the image to come from darkness.

then what happens on the same street everywhere. people and livestock move horizontally across
a path behind a structure where there is a gate. several people are livestock. one person is human.

chickens behind gates and people behind each dressed in white or they are white cattle. beyond,
a street sign a green pasture a mountain range.

Public surveillance footage of Tehran depicting a green car

Nilufar Karimi is an Iranian American poet and translator. Her works have appeared in publications such as World Literature Today,West Wind Review and Alchemy Journal of Translation.

Public Survey

Related Posts

Counsel

DAVID MOLONEY
I work alone on the Restricted Unit in the Barker County Correctional Facility in New Hampshire. It’s a semicircular room, the curved wall lined with nine cells. Most of the day, the inmates press their faces to scuffed windows, silent. There are no bars. The architects went with rosewood steel doors. Rosewood: the color of merlot.

All Night in the Tuberculosis Room

RENA J. MOSTEIRIN
I am still holding the mask. I feel that I still need it, having worn it all night over my mouth and nose to keep the germs from coming in. Everything is glowing: the mask, my breath, my hands. The man working the counter comes outside, muttering about it being too cold.

Image of book cover

Excerpt from Godshot

CHELSEA BIEKER
To have an assignment, Pastor Vern said, you had to be a woman of blood. You had to be a man of deep voice and Adam’s apple. And you should never reveal your assignment to another soul, for assignments were a holy bargaining between you and your pastor and God Himself.