Saturday, June 23, 2007

Peter Balakian: Some Flowers

Click the link to hear Peter Balakian's Some Flowers read by Lola Koundakjian.


Bright orange in the morning
cupping the fragrant air
of the upstate summer.

All my aunt remembered of Armenia.

In the hot sun,
I look them dead center --
papery petals streaked black
around the anther sacs;

pollen gets into my nose,
I should brush it from my face,

but when I look in
the flower's dark pit
the base of the pistil's missing.

When the buttery
light of the moon
falls on them

I see into their eyes.

Men and women who bore my name
have gone from face to bone

with the quickness that night
has made my poppies
into nothing.

Not only for Armenia
do these poppies give up their petals.

My eyes grow tight as a calyx.

Off long stems
black eyes sway
in the morning wind.

The anther sacs are busted --
filaments rise past my window
into nothing.

This poem has appeared in the volume "Reply from Wilderness Island", Sheep Meadow Press, 1988, and is used here by kind permission.

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