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Shmavon Azatyan

Literature (Armenia)

Dolphins In The Bay

I see it on the TV screen -
a bar graph that goes higher every day.
On the radio, I hear a few hundred thousand people fell.
The beaches and docklands are closed down.
Through the window I watch 
skiffs and boats idle at the wharf.

I buy grocery and stuff,
stock my cabinet, then wait,
in my apartment.

On the phone, a friend warns me she might consume my lungs,
and that I will succumb to her fierce advances,
if I have the conditions.
My relations 
report the emergency on the phone:
He is deadly.

I eat and sleep, and days go by;
I listen to more talk about the damage, and with each death toll 
the infectious agent seems to stick faster to my brain.
Outside my window, the palm tree waltzes to the wind,
unawares of the killer. 

When the restrictions are lifted,
I venture out for consequences 
and find shells – 
the old town, the business district, the shopping centers…
and find crustaceans –   
people in masks and gloves and goggles…

Despaired and uncertain, I walk back 
when I happen on 
a snake on the footy ground,
rats and mice hanging out at the bust stop,
ravens and magpies ransacking the bazaar.

Each find quakes something loose inside,

on the bridge, I lean on the railing 
if this creature has come to stay, 
when suddenly – Good Lord! 
dolphins cruise in the bay. 


Shmavon Azatyan holds a Ph.D. in Humanities and Social Sciences. He writes fiction, poetry, and screenplays. He also researches and publishes articles about narrative in film.

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