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  • Maria Galstyan


On Awaiting Change

I'm waiting for something.

I keep waiting for something to happen;

for me to start loving myself,

for me to find a friend that is true,

to have a loving savior whisk me away.

I keep holding back,

I keep waiting for someone else to help me change because

i'm too afraid to do it on my own

and make a mistake.

Deep down I know no one will come

— I know that this is a journey

I have to take on my own, Image by Leslie Zhang -

and yet I'm still waiting,

still hoping for my old hair to grow back.

On Growing Up

I’d follow the road that is safe and not taken rather than the one that has been

treaded far too many times by people

with a future far too similar to mine.

I doubt the latter has an end I wish to see.

I doubt the latter has an end at all, you see. And yet I have no choice because the life

I lead is a mortal life, of no

two roads but one’s own and

one’s own is one road full of

pain and happiness and suffering and



It has no feathers but it does burn much when you hopelessly ignite it

with the peck of wood you call a matchstick. It melts into a puddle and it exhausts you through its flames until you feel sick. Beggars can’t choose, so you close

your eyes and you breathe, breathe, breathe in the oxygen and you swallow the lies.

Lies that it doesn’t hurt, that indifference

is all you feel, that time means nothing

because your nerves are sailor knots and your heart’s made of steel. Don’t cry little child,

you’re far too old for that.

If you dare, if you wish,

however, at least wait until the lights

burn out.

You'll be left alone with the only friends

you call your thoughts. Let them embrace you into the steel cage you call a mind.

Cry like a child when they sing to you reminders of the past, ones you cannot

relive, relieve, revive.

When you’re asleep, don’t forget to

hear the leaves and smell the wind. Remember the years that weren’t so dimmed. When the loved ones were loved and

the memories weren’t of the past.

When Janus was a myth, rather

than a haunter dripping behind

your steps like wax.

When your brother didn’t smoke

to forget his pain.

When he didn’t serve a country

that made him sleep under the snow

and the rain.

When his laughs weren't forced, and

when his mind minded minor meanings instead of troubled thoughts.

Walk around until you’re too

old to ignore the path that was there

all along.

Hold onto the little hope that’s still

left and walk along the path with

your granny’s hand in your hand,

leading, leading, leading,

until you realize that you’re old enough to lead her yourself.

Do, because now she’s far too old to

lead herself

and especially you.

Lead her until you feel the

soreness in your feet she felt

when she lulled you to sleep.

Feel the pain she felt as you grew up. And when you realize that all of this

is just a silly stupid life, wake up

from your own dreams and

kiss your loved ones goodnight.

And don’t you ever, little child, let that hope burn out.

On the Topic of War

I don’t remember how it all began.

The muffled cries

The broken ties

The constant current of lowly lies.

I don’t remember how our country came to ruins, How mothers bid their sons their last goodbyes Unknowingly.

I think I searched my soul for a drop of faith

And I think my mother did the same.

I think, I’m not sure, I saw a light

Yet even then, my eyes would be blurred by the sight Of broken buildings and bloody bodies by my side. My nose recalls the scent of blood

And my mouth tasted dust and dirt

My skin howled from pain,

My soul swept away by the rain.

I hoped for uncertainty, but here, certainty knew me well. The Dead

The dead are buried in troughs by the farmers of the world Who shape and tame this earth into the perfect mold

Of chaos

The dead are buried in troughs, eaten by the pigs of the world Snorting and squealing at the thought of greed

exploiting the lives they sold.

I don’t remember how it all ended I think, I’m not sure, it never did.

Tragedy Poem

Aftermath (Aftermath? Did the end come after all?) I think I was closer to the light by then

I think my hands reached out by then

I think I closed my eyes by then

I think I thought I could breathe again

The white fire burned my hands instead

I became crippled like our country,

Waved a white flag in surrendered shame.

I walk with my battered shoes with my toes still cold It’s December, I think, or so I’ve been told

The world around me is stagnant, unmoved

And people surround me with feelings abused

The people are angry

The people are hurt

The mothers are weeping

And the corpses are burnt

The prisoners are searching

For a path of escape

And the city keeps crying

For outside help

I think in the night I still search for faith

And yet I come out empty handed

Because I know my country’s history

And thus, I know its faith.

So I watch the world beat on,

Fists against pointless currents,

Ceaselessly ignoring the real issues of today.


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