Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lory Bedikian: Self-Portrait with Crane

On road trips, no coastal fog rolling in
Brings me the sea gull or sandpiper

shifting from water to sky,
but the common Armenian crane

who treks across the Atlantic,
breaks through California clouds, 

haunts the laurels, the eucalyptus,
a message tucked in its beak.

In riffs strummed on midwestern guitars,
I can hear the duduk hound me 

with its drone of apricot wood,
piping a monotone dirge, driven

like the tumbleweed. In New Mexico,
each flute player’s eyes turns 

into the pomegranate seed.
Going east should bring foliage

but I see the blue eye in trees.
For days, New England’s sediment 

drops into riverbeds, bends
into Gorky’s brush strokes.

No relief. Ghosts float west
from Ellis Island, crosses tattooed 

on their forearms, worry beads
pebbled in their grip. Even as I watch

the world series, a fly ball
turns back into the crane.

Originally published: Spring 2008 in Euphony prose and poetry at the University of Chicago

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