She left her compactblue and goldlying upside downin her drawerhiddenin its white powdersomething she alwayswanted to tell me.But her eyes,now empty cups of milkno longer remembered.
Inside was the mirrorfull of powderforty years oldopening for melike a womantelling secretsof her flesh.
In silencepink white flakescovered my hands.I bent down kneelingto look furtherinside her drawer.
Each time I openedthe compacta sound, click,of a half cricketthe sound of lipspressing together.There were whisperscontainedIn small breaths.I clicked a kissin the mirrorof white powderand becamea white curtain.
I was sheer,a translucent flagand saluted herwith all my fleshand thenwith the clickof my lipsclosedher white body.Snap!like the clap of handslike magiclife vanishes”dust to dust”opening and closinghappeningalmost all at once.
Two Dying Bees
I peered at them one by onetheir wingsdisintegratinginto the afternoon light:their huge black eyesstaring back at me,motionless,and without a sound:wispy skeletonsthat had grown silenton the leavesof my red-flowered cactusand my purple geranium.How silent we can become.
Tina Demirdjian has been published in Ararat International Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Midwest Poetry Review, and the bi-lingual Armenian-American anthology, Birthmark. She has been a teacher of poetry in Los Angeles public and private schools for the last ten years.
–Naomi Shihab Nye