Except in this Faith

by Na’ím

Except in this Faith
have you ever heard
of a wise one wishing
to hasten to his own death?

Except in Dáru’s-Salám,
have you ever seen anyone
let himself be slaughtered
by his own hand?

Except in Tihrán,
have you ever heard of a sane one
pacing for three months to deliver
a letter ordaining his own execution?

Except in Zanján
have you ever heard of a mother
encouraging the execution
of her own son?

Except in Shíráz,
is there a place where one
eagerly gives a reward
to an ignorant assassin?

Except in Isfahán,
has anyone ever given
blood money to a rabid killer
to expedite his own murder?

Except in `Ishqábád,
did you ever witness
one who would intercede
on behalf of a murderer?

Except in Yazd,
has anyone ever uttered
such words as these
while being slaughtered:

I desire no helper
to help me,
but I do desire a witness
to watch me.

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