Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Shahé Mankerian: Where the Trees Have No Name

No one dared to climb the skeletal tree 
in the dead end alley. Its trunk without 
branches surrendered to bullet holes.

The drunk sniper spotted wayward 
children sprouting from bowing boughs. 
That's how Coconut Avo died.

He climbed the crying tree by Cinema 
Arax because he wanted to touch the halo 
on Miss Marilyn Monroe. Love forced

hefty hooligans to take miscalculated
risks in Beirut. We heard the crack first. 

Then the snap. Both the branch and Avo fell

instantly as if struck by lightning. The priest 
warned us, "The sniper shoots at drooping 
limbs and drifting children like lambs."

This poem appeared in Barzakh, an online literary journal.

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