Michael Minassian

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.