Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Shahé Mankerian: Somerset

When Father read Maugham at the balcony, 
he didn't see the sheep blocking the traffic.

He was deaf to the screams of the taxi driver. 
When the shepherd boy banged his staff

on the hood of the Mercedes and cursed, 
May God cut your testicles, Father flipped

a page as if shooing a fly. A bearded militiaman, 
high on hashish, fired his Kalashnikov into the air.

Father sipped coffee. The sheep didn't move.
A stray bullet pierced a cawing raven. A tainted

feather found an open page, smeared words 
like clubfoot and bondage. Maugham required

a bookmark on Father's lap. 

This poem appeared in Barzakh, an online literary journal.

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