A celebration of Persian voices and talent

Nautical Ghazal by Lily Sadighmehr


Nautical Ghazal

by Lily Sadighmehr
“I leave behind the surf and whales towards / a holy oligarchy.”

Nautical Ghazal
by Lily Sadighmehr

I am scanning nautical maps to point my sails towards.
Sanding down my dinghy, readying my tell-tales towards.

Begin throwing off the bowline, tapping a glass compass
and let the magnet circumnavigate some trails towards

an island of misfit bodies: brown and downtrodden, vexed.
Steadying my tiller, the wind carries the gales towards

abundance of cliffsides teeming with green, swarming in gold.
Dilapidated dock to moor, unmask the veils towards

pastures painted with ranunculuses, zestful meadow
and fugitives committing no crimes escaped jails, towards

promised land. My dinghy nudges the edge of the island’s
undulant shore. I leave behind the surf and whales towards

a holy oligarchy. Everyone glad to see me
and welcome a weary sailor from her guardrails towards

pedagogy of the oppressed. They ask, “Lily, do you
feel validated?” I foresee a place to prevail towards.


Lily is a bookseller and an aspiring English teacher. She enjoys sailing and flights of IPAs. An aspiration of hers is to cook the perfect tahdig to impress her Persian side of the family. She lives in Seattle with her husband.

FEATURED IMAGE BY Marko Milivojevic