Color. My life.
This structure was built in the 1800s. I can hear voices nibbling the dark, plum-colored gowns dancing the rooms, cigars burning. I am standing outside a heavy wooden door smoking a cigarette, somewhat hating its taste. I am alone and afraid of ghosts fond of an old building wearing a new life. This day is nothing but a mean lady coming out of a mean light. It feels like my life has been over for years and I have been standing here, smoking and watching my hands, paralyzed, hiding everything I am in my stomach next to a pie I just ate. I can only convince myself for a minute or two that New York is something more than good food and bad weather and cold talk of the cold men; that this never-ending minute will end and somewhere across the horizon the sun is watching the clock, waiting to deliver another impatient child I call “morning”. I will be a mother to it. Meanwhile – silver.
I’m waiting for a fresh pair of glasses
in an optometry shop.
The woman at the counter is a reincarnated witch
and if I sit here long enough
she will say something
like “This too shall pass”
or “[something else], my dear.”
Her smile is liquid and warm – kindest thing
reality will ever relinquish.
Makes me think of my mother saying
my head smells like a baby
and I’m so happy that I want to cry
and hug myself until my nails bleed.
Waiting is beautiful when it’s not intentional
but it isn’t friendly when it has purpose,
like most things in life aren’t.
If I could only master
this foreign language to describe
the texture of your morning neck
I would get up and finish
this moment of my life.
I have been told
I live inside myself
geography is a challenge
and I can never find that place
with a map and a flashlight
but darkness is home.
It isn’t true.
It is not places
I’m just not here
the way everybody else
is a child’s neck bit by a vampire
holy and white
but it hurts, is damaged, and cries
and I just want to travel
only where I want to go.
Sometimes I am a passenger
in a crowded vessel
my face takes off
and spins around copper
I call it back
but it does not listen
so I give up and gently touch hands
that aren’t mine.
Echoes of my soul
trapped in a box
are taken away by a greedy stranger.
I do not chase.
I am hoping for another
lighter or heavier
whatever may be.
I will take the cross too
I only need roses in a violent stream
to lay out my path
to an old house
with a frayed roof
a lonely child inside it
Gayane M. Haroutyunyan is an Armenian-American poet living in Los Angeles. Her work appeared in Chaparrel, Zetetic, and Apple Valley Review online journals among others. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her hobbies include daydreaming in public places, cooking, and traveling places with her heart.