Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Sevana Bagdasarian: Carnations on Mashtots Street


It all seems like cracks in sidewalks.
There is an earthworm trying to wiggle
through a sidewalk garlic press that tries to catch it
without squashing through the side.

They pass slowly, sweat drenching polyester armpits,
crosses held before a million white-laced heads, and
stumbling behind, some kid tangled up with the flag.

Truth passes by, dismal and filmy
I stand, shoo flies from my face.


Shot two days ago, but his family kept him from open house,
propped on white carnations on the red velvet couch
so others could see and acknowledge glaucous blue verity.
Parades of dried apple dolls march
behind him, trying to moisten their parched faces
under the sticky heat, sweat and tears
become Sevan, one fresh water lake.

Flies circle around everyone,
one gargantuan tamzara and
he even feels it on his face, the constant
buzz around us, a huge alarm clock
following the march, ticking to wake the trees, flowers
the solder, as if to remind us that history is now
a gavel's song against an anvil

ee veree Yerusaghem, reciting oblique lines
as he goes deeper into the sultry arms of clay
the one who loves him
caressing him through several layers of antiquity
while the flies follow and sing
to wake him from hibernation.

Sevana Bagdasarian

This poem has appeared in aspora, Volume I, number 1, Fall 1993.

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