These days, every serving of time feels like
it can be shaped in the hand to be a love poem.
Your grandmother’s folding the grape leaves
for the dolma while your grandfather’s studies
in charcoal and ink near something uneven,
the edge of the page, swaying the sun’s fingers
in and out of all certainty. And the memories
drive through open corridors called identities,
arches under which you carved out these first
kisses that return in silent droves to feasts.
Feel free in these brief interjections of light,
for these days, the shortages run the city blocks
all night looking for some kind of new charge.
Feel the weight of your neighbor, and begin to
undress the distance, quietly, as the seconds
disappear or shift into instruments of sound
you’ve been hearing, no, making your entire
life, marking your heart’s height on the door.
Leave whatever it is that takes you away from
understanding the time you have left is now.
Alan Semerdjian is an Armenian-American writer (poems, essays), musician (songs, guitars), and educator (public education, 25 years). He teaches at Herricks High School and lives with his family in New Hyde Park, NY.