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POETRY Compact She left her compact blue and gold lying upside down in her drawer hidden in its white powder something she always wanted to tell me. But her eyes, now empty cups of milk no longer remembered. Inside was the mirror full of powder forty years old opening for me like a woman telling secrets of her flesh. In silence pink white flakes covered my hands. I bent down kneeling to look further inside her drawer. Each time I opened the compact a sound, click, of a half cricket the sound of lips pressing together. There were whispers contained In small breaths. I clicked a kiss in the mirror of white powder and became a white curtain. I was sheer, a translucent flag and saluted her with all my flesh and then with the click of my lips closed her white body. Snap! like the clap of hands like magic life vanishes “dust to dust” opening and closing happening almost all at once. wispy skeletons that had grown silent on the leaves of my red-flowered cactus and my purple geranium. Two Dying Bees I peered at them one by one their wings disintegrating into the afternoon light: their huge black eyes staring back at me, motionless, and without a sound: How silent we can become. Tina Demirdjian 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 22 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 10/26/01