From: Finishing Line Press

To: Razieh Mehdizadeh

Subject: RE: [Finishing Line Press] Prophets

Dear Razieh Mehdizadeh,


 2020 New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition!!!


Thank you for sending us "Prophets". Thank you for entering the NWV competition. Your manuscript has been accepted for publication in our general catalogue of chapbooks.



  • Ants


I vividly remember that day

God sent His angels to see what Joshua wanted

He told them to accept whatever he wished

And God Himself went up to the third heaven and lolled on the sofa

Moments later, the sun stopped moving

Joshua and his armies destroyed the enemies

The world was standing still, but we were busy

On each of our backs was a load we were to carry to our destination

On my mother's back was the seventh day of Genesis

On my brother's back was the apple of sorrow to be delivered to the Garden of Eden

On my sister's back were the bones of Joseph to be taken to the land of Canaan

On my father's back was a wooden cross to be carried to the Golgotha mountain

And on my back, I took the cup of deadly hemlock to be brought to Athens



  • Mom


My mother limps

In her knee, she holds the swollen stories of war

In her knee, she carries the body of my dead brother

In her knee, waiting for my missing father has become a historical fossil

And the rubble of our house is gathered

Sometimes a pang of pain shoots up her knee

This pain is the dream of my return

To return to Iran to live with her

And grow old limping together.


  • Jonah


Jeremiah was crying

Pleading to come back

But Jonah paid him no heed

He pruned the grapes and fig trees in the whale's belly

In the mornings, he would run a hand through his moist hair

At noon, he sunbathed in the dim light slithering through the jaws of the whale

At nights, he would lie on its ribs and dream of the city of Nineveh.

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