Accidental Immigrant

Shirin Teifouri

Sometimes accidents happen, even to gods,
like immigrants who transgress
and one morning wake up in a borderline
between a liveable and unliveable life.

It’s always arrivals that mean loss, not departures.
In arrivals everything begins with the word,
and no city in the world lets you pass
without the word of god.

One night I dreamt home was healed by a miracle
and somewhere on earth spring continued,
then I measured my time by how much of that dream arrived.
Such sublime is hard to express

but there are days, against all odds, I can take out the distress
of my mornings and turn it into a golden latte, listen to a friend of mine
who is fed up with words, and laugh at the pettiness of the accidental gods.
You may go so far as to call it happiness.

Shirin Teifouri is a Kurdish-Iranian researcher and poet based in Sheffield. She taught literature at undergraduate levels before coming to the UK to get her PhD. Her research has explored the function of poetry linked to cross-cultural narratives of displacement and mental health. Shirin has published poetry in literary journals and anthologies including Route 57, Verse Matters (Valley Press, 2017) and Wretched Strangers (Boiler House Press, 2018).