[35] Our Life, Kosrof Chantikian


Our life is but half a life
death is the remainder

the hope of love smothered by the smell
of tossed oil rags clings heavy in the sky

unable to breathe
no one to call for help

and across the roads the towns
thousands of muddy bayous scream
to wake the Earth

the birds try to escape knowing many will fail
yet they carry pieces of their nests
the bark of trees their eggs torn feathers and their cries

the smashed sunflower the naked old stone
the dirt we played with as children

still hear far away
the torn sounds of the hearts of birds

and my grandparents and my mother walking as fast
as they can from the burning city

whisper to the birds
to send them hope

the birds grateful
throw a few crumbs of old bread

and instruct them
to follow

no matter the odds
the sorrow the midnight bleeding

or the taste of devastation
in the sky

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