Shahe Mankerian

Shahe Mankerian

Dear Mr. President:

There was a time when my family was happy.
Father played the violin on Sundays, and sunlight

filled the living room of my memory. Mother fried
eggplants in the kitchen. She hummed like Fairuz.

My brother read books on the Arabian Nights
on the red couch. I rolled on the Persian rug

until I felt dizzy. Then a bomb exploded near the souk.
Our windowpanes shattered. The mosque collapsed

on the bridge. The violin broke from the neck.
The eggplants charred. Brother bled on the couch.

I waited for the rug to magically rise
and take flight into the night.