MICHAEL MINASSIAN is a Contributing Editor for Verse-Virtual, an online magazine. His chapbooks include poetry: The Arboriculturist (2010); Chuncheon Journal (2019); and photography: Around the Bend (2017). For more information: https://michaelminassian.com
THE ROSE CITY
In Petra, we walked along
a rocky path towards the rose
colored stone temple—
just outside the entrance
beggars sold ancient coins,
swords, and bits of pottery
rubbed and weathered to look old.
The woman I loved smiled
for the first time that day
our last together—
like the god Dushara
and his consort
we faded into the shadows
of rock and sand.
Poets may speak of loss
and regret but the next
day brought only
knives of zero
and the dawn’s empty hand.
MY FATHER LIVED IN THE BASEMENT
My father was a drunk;
my father never touched alcohol.
My father wrote poetry;
he hated poems & poets.
My father composed his own dictionary;
he could barely write his own name.
My father took me to my first baseball game;
he left me alone at Yankee Stadium.
My father often quoted Shakespeare;
he called me Ophelia behind my back.
My father worshipped Freud;
he buried Jung in his dreams.
My father loved Audrey Hepburn;
he called Marilyn “that skinny blonde.”
My father lived in the basement;
our house did not have a cellar.