Lola Koundakjian

Your spirit lingers in a dozen books 
I have inherited; poems by Adonis, Balakian, Passolini — 
some translated from tongues you spoke 
or still remembered. 
Sad Days of Light states one title, 
I want to live, screams another. 

In the lost pages, French stamps, 
postcards neatly typed —
one thanking you for a charming dinner, 
another with your neat script — never mailed;
a receipt of books purchased in Boston, 
pencil marks underlining many words.

I am like a voyeur peeking 
into your daily life of 
some 30 years ago 
wondering who you were then, 

When was the last time someone brought you a book, 
the last time you read in bed, 
and placed your glasses down to wipe tears of joy.

When was the last time you stole a kiss.
                        Neery Melkonian (1955-2016)

Lola Koundakjian lives in Washington Heights, NYC, where she enjoys the native fauna and flora. She curates a poetry series at the Zohrab Information Center in midtown Manhattan, and since 2006, has promoted Armenian culture with texts, translations and audio for the Armenian Poetry Project.