Monday, August 13, 2007

William Michaelian: Cooking String Beans

Like a haunted wind blown across a map
of three mad centuries, the smell of rehan and onions
still reminds me of my grandmother — half Moush,
half Bitlis, half batz hatz, half Highway 99,

as if she were a poem written
in four old languages,
each of them

Even dead,
she is more alive
than many people I know,
whose anger is trite and canned
and tasteless to themselves.

But it's not their fault. They need only ripen
like tomatoes to their full extent,
until they fall and begin
to live.

Not everyone is lucky enough
to be ravaged by history.

The real curse is a prolonged death,
with the taste of candy
on your lips.

More salt. Tender lamb.
I am crucified again, and again, and again . . .

Copyright William Michaelian. Used here by kind permission of the author.

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