Tuesday, October 11, 2011

James Baloian: The Armenian

(for Charles C. Baloian)

The last number is the first
and the curve in the straight line
is only a river that runs from a desert

I would name that river
but by nature it leads to the sea
I would enter from the backside of the mountain
and look at the city of Palu
to watch it operate

Multicolored scarves and vegetable markets
where the dee/eyed Armenians close
over a day’s work
Streets with dancing to invisible music

Below the shadow of the mountain
stone arches crown the river Euphrates
It is the beginning of time
I have not yet been born
I am 90 and die
on a hospital bed in America
My teeth gone/bones for skin

I cannot see
I speak with my organs
They know me well
Many shadows come to my bed
I smell each with my fingers

Have I come so far
that silence is my fate?
Have I encouraged history so much
I listen only with instinct?

The quiet feet of questions
tend the growing and the young
The anxious eyes and dreams
prepare the tradition
Whatever buried returns
and comes again

Knee deep in the river
the words are read
and revealed
I become the future

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