Monday, February 22, 2021

Arthur Kayzakian: Mothers Who Raise War Gods, Part 1: The Art of Carcass Dragging

Sahakanush knows her son will be good. 

She reads his tea leaves. 

Each night she pulls three tea bags from a jar, 

extracts dry minted plants and scatters them 

across her den’s wooden floor. Some nights she mixes 

peppermint, pomegranate white, dragon well, jasmine, 

and a spicy blend of masala chai. She brews a hot cup, 

watches steam swirl into the air and disappear. 

Sahakanush calls it skywriting. Anything resembling smoke 

helps her fall asleep. Her son will be good: In the future 

he chops men off their war elephants. Blood spurts on his lip, 

his crotch bulges. In the leaves she is not proud to see death 

captivate him. When she sees something she doesn’t like, 

she brushes her hair mumbling litanies under her breath 

while looking in a mirror.  She meditates on its shine, 

long black strands falling on her face like silk curtains. 

She likes the way he grips the metal plate of his enemy’s vest 

and pulls the body across the soil—

vultures gathering around the trail of blood it leaves behind. 

Published in Hyebred Magazine Issue 05 | Spring 2019

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