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19: Armen Davoudian

Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.


by Armen Davoudian


Scarlet stigma, thin
as a wish fingers

from the flushed

iris salt and sugar
ground to dust

and rosewater bloomed
to molten gold

in the marble

my hand, limp
from the pestle, spilled

over the words,
soaking the page with fragrant saffron—

one more failure,
the instructions

dyed to the letter.
But that’s no matter.

Let it—planted and plucked,
like us, in other fields,

and like us worn by salt
and sweetness to what is—

gild the day’s last page,
which even now (too soon)

one stained finger turns
beyond the stony lip …

Copyright © 2024 by Armen Davoudian. This poem was originally published in The Atlantic (2024).

About the Author

Armen DavoudianArmen Davoudian is the author of the poetry collection THE PALACE OF FORTY PILLARS (Tin House) and the translator, from Persian, of HOPSCOTCH by Fatemeh Shams (Ugly Duckling Presse). He grew up in Isfahan, Iran, and is a PhD candidate in English at Stanford University.

Queer Poem a Day graphic

Queer Poem a Day

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and professor Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this fourth year of our series is from the second movement of the “Geistinger Sonata,” Piano Sonata No. 2 in C Sharp Minor by Ethel Smyth, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

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