Friday, August 22, 2014

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach: To the Women of Trabzon

               for Siamanto

The earth remembers them
the way a body does a wound.
The Black Sea swelling out

dark hair and fabric worn to rope:
a barbed chain of mothers, wires,
a great aunt, the girl

whose dress was torn in places
water didn’t choose. Seagulls
searched for fish there,

pecking at something still
straining: scales lodged between
a child’s shoulder blades. No mourners –

just gravediggers: the sandstone cliffs
pressing their shadows down
over sea-scathed breasts:

a shroud to hide the women
from Ottoman hands.
The earth remembers:

no priests, no casket,
risen red-sand, them.
In the Turk-Armenian waters:

how many have we forgotten?
Hamsi, hazelnuts, and tea,
the earth remembers: past

our reflections: the nameless
turn to vapor at high noon:
the air is sodden with them:

see the ebony in their hair.

Finalist The 2013 CONSEQUENCE Prize in Poetry

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