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The Literary Groong - 02/08/2003

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	THE 39 LETTERS

	By Helene Pilibosian

	of Armenian words,
	their 39 swords,
	their 39 favors,
	locked fingers in the group
	like 39 dancers.
	They'd never forget the songs
	like lullabies
	in and out of mountain crags,
	on pollinated afterthoughts,
	in the rain of chance,
	in the clearing after snow.
	They'd never forget
	the enchantment of candles
	stacked like stems
	with fire the flowers,
	fire the ancient worship
	of a simpler earth.

	Even the earthquake learned
	the 39 letters
	and all the words that spelled
	a fractured vista,
	learned the dances too,
	the chances of blankets,
	the trances of food.
	The four flowers -
	summer, fall, winter, spring-
	learned the 39 letters best,
	endowing them
	with the mood of weather.


--
Helene Pilibosian is a former editor of The Armenian Mirror-Spectator
and has published two books of poetry, "Carvings from an Heirloom" and
"At Quarter Past Reality", a prizewinner, under the imprint Ohan Press.
Her poems have been much anthologized and have recently appeared in
the North American Review, Willow Review and The Cape Rock. Readers are
welcome to browse the Ohan Press web site at:
http://home.attbi.com/~hsarkiss.

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