on faith

It is lonely on cool tiles of my corruption
eye on domes of Rome, midday stretches
lethargic silence on ashes I burn
in the high sun on red rooftops basking in refuge

feathers from ashes, feathers short of a wing
to glide down like a raven to your chiral streets

there’s a congregation praying for my salvation
a choir singing the gospel, mirage on church steeples
I wring last drop of resolve in your mouth
and keep a river in my womb to wash my disillusionment

squatting to gut irony collected on your stairways
raw against my breastbone fishing-line stringed
putrescent promises familiar in flared nostrils
same as ancient prayers filtering through parched tourist lips

I will tell you again of pagan sins kneeling in confession
when you stop searching for the righteous woman
buried under four layers of leathered skin
you ask me if I want to pray with you for redemption
I ask you where do we go from here
where do we go not to converge in a dream

© Silva Merjanian

excerpt from Rumor and published here with the poet’s permission. Procedes from the sale of Rumor – both poets and publishers – go to the Syrian-Armenian Relief Fund. Three poems from Rumor have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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