[33] 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

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

the birds try to escape
knowing many will die

yet carry pieces of their nests
the bark of trees    their eggs    torn feathers    and their cries

the smashed sunflower
the naked old stone

still hear far away
torn sounds of the hearts of  birds

my mother, Atamant
and her parents, Gevont and Marina

walk as fast as they can
from the burning city

whisper to the birds
to send them hope

the birds    grateful    look down and
throw a few crumbs of old bread

and instruct them
to follow

no matter the odds
of midnight’s bleeding

and the dry taste of sleep
that devastates the sky


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