Loneliness is a conversation
hidden in his pocket
with letters of the Armenian alphabet.

Zaven distills September’s fruit
into decaying bouquets. His large hands
tremble with ingredients, a lost recipe
turning water into wine.

Where the laughter
of naked feet and dust create an ancient
village in the orange waters of an afternoon sun,
Zaven sings like a mother who buries her children young.

“Soon tomorrow will be yesterday,
and I will still remember,” he recites
to sleeping birds.
His words dance like feathers

in a prehistoric wind.