He never came out of his bedroom.
Sona, the landlady, invited up
to the kitchen and offered lemonade.
I accompanied Mother whenever
we requested an extension on the rent.
I stared at the bedroom door and imagined
Sona’s son wrestling a famished alligator
underneath his blanket. Mother bartered
with a tray of baklava. I wondered
if he constructed and climbed an indoor
Kilimanjaro with books. “Don’t slurp!”
Mother tapped my knee. Maybe
he discovered a portal beneath his bed
and crawled into it. Maybe he found
Oz, a rabbit hole, La Mancha.
I dreamt of knocking on his door,
but Mother clutched my wrist before
I dared to move.
Shahé Mankerian’s most recent manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, has been a finalist at four prestigious competitions: the 2013 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the 2013 Bibby First Book Competition, the Quercus Review Press, Fall Poetry Book Award, 2013, and the 2014 White Pine Press Poetry Prize. His poems have been published in numerous literary magazines.
–Art: “Moonset, Sunrise” Photo by Arlene Katz
Arlene Katz says: “I’ve been influenced by poetics of space in my writings on social poetics and by creating a form of art/dialog by entering into the space between poetry and photography – resonance between words and the visual, inviting a ‘flare up of being’ (Bachelard). I am a Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a published poet and photographer who has created video documentaries related to my dialogical work.
Copyright 2017, Shahé Mankerian. Copyright 2017, Arlene Katz