Monday, June 30, 2014

Arto Vaun: X

Somewhere in my grandmother's apartment there is a photograph:
Two infant boys, around 1945 or so, although it looks more like 1920

There are looking at the camera the way children used to --
Already sullen adult gazes, dressed in white frilly gowns

My two uncles -- they sit together with an understanding
That they shall not inherit the earth, but die in a few weeks

From malnutrition and insufficient medical care -- look closer
And you can see they are fading right in your hand

My grandparents, resilient granite angels, could not talk
About this one thing -- they themselves were children

When they buried their own, left them in a small Armenian cemetery
Leaving one land not theirs to another not theirs to another not theirs

America, your homeless are not the beggars and street people --
They are the hop-scotching peasants whose nations are anxious myths now

The crowd asks
What did you expect going out alone like that --

History wears pantyhose over its head and gets away with murder every time

From Capillarity, Carcanet, 2009.

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