Michael Minassian – The Morning After

Minassian LE P&W July 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing July 2024

The Morning After, poems by Michael Minassian.

The Morning After

I woke up alone
one cold morning.

On days like this
even when there is no wind
there is wind.

Writing a long poem
with short words,
it rusts on my tongue
like derelict cars.

Checking the index
for archaic terms,
several stanzas ensue:
abandoned, forgotten,
or indecipherable,
reaching for something Biblical,
stumbling over myths
and superstition,
serpents and angels.

Gods hidden by clouds and fear—
the metaphor of the garden
and forbidden fruit

I wonder why it is that
knowledge was forbidden.

What can you say about innocence
when there’s nothing to compare it with?

One day you think you know
the answers to your questions,
the next day you’re kicked
out of Paradise.

The Travel Agent’s Poster

Last night, I walked along Main Street
past boarded-up store fronts
and abandoned shops,
and paused at the travel agent,
the one who closed for good.

In the window hung a poster
of Botticelli’s Venus.

She was still on the clamshell
covering one breast
and her pubic bone
with strands of her hair.

I suppose the poster
meant to evoke Italy
and new beginnings.

But Venus looks pensive, even sad,
caught by surprise by the winds,
two blustery figures with wings
(never a good sign)
and a woman offering a cloak
covered with flowers
resembling spiders.

No wonder Venus looks down
and away, as if she knew
how beauty could be stolen,
how winter always crushes spring.

Even in Silence

There’s a quiet noise
inside silence,
an architecture of sound.

The trees in the woods
nod their leafy branches
as if every word I speak

is in a language
we both can understand—
that and the wind.

Sometimes in a knot of wood
you can see a face,
a mouth about to flutter

like eyelashes on a fawn—
a moth’s wings on fire
light fading, then gone.

© Michael Minassian

Michael Minassian lives with his wife in New England. He is a Contributing Editor for Verse-Virtual, an online poetry journal. His poetry collections Time is Not a River, Morning Calm, and A Matter of Timing as well as a chapbook, Jack Pays a Visit, are all available on Amazon. For more information: https://michaelminassian.com

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