Mother walked into a coffin
full of snow and ice,
I should have told her
January’s not good for dying.
On nights like this air clots in hindsight,
I start a fire in her grave
watch winter burn in a blaze.
She warms her feet under my spleen,
rearranges my ribs not knowing
where to land,
as if walking through mine fields
stepping in footprints of others.
Can the woman fit in my skin as I age ?
She had church
thousands of them tearing
through stone groin of hills,
does it matter that prayer is stale
on my lips?
She had trust,
same desert swallowed our past,
she shook off the sand,
it fell like flakes of doubt and regret on my hands.
She knew love,
it filled her bones till they cracked,
I love with my heart behind barbed wire.
My voice paces in our language
between memories hanging like bats
clashing with a bright yellow dress
I remember from somewhere,
and the moonlight softening the lines
blurred in my chest.
A tender moment I chew and spit in a song,
lyrics scrape the only thing left alive
against my cheek,
this longing rising inside a sigh
where she owns all of this silence
crumbling on my tongue.
© 2019, Silva Zanoyan Merjanian