Two Poems by Ronald Dzerigian

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Sunbathing

I’m sunbathing near pink hyacinth blooms
at the base of Mount Ararat, after  

the first rain of a new year. No,
I’m in California, watching our dog squint  

at the first inches of sun
along the edge of our back lawn,

after a brief early morning rain, after he’s not
eaten the food I’ve given him.

I open the pages of my grandparents’
Armenian Bible & blindly place my right

pointer finger on a passage & imagine
its meaning—the sun rises

&, with it, a path of healing—yet this
is not what is written. I turn

my branches toward the narrow
light & sparse falling waters & I begin to grow.


Horse Passage

My aunt kneels near the body
of her horse, wavers
in the space
between each  

exhalation. The vet
administers euthanasia
& every horse (in
the history of horse & human)  

shudders under the tiny feet
of flies. The last breath
from her animal—air sonar
from insect wing, every tone

of every whisper & song—
cools like a hand
so distanced
from the pumping of blood.


Ronald Dzerigian is the author of Rough Fire (2018). His poems have appeared in the Australian Book ReviewComstock ReviewPrairie SchoonerRHINOSalamander, and others. He received his MFA from California State University, Fresno, and maintains residence in the San Joaquin Valley with his wife and two daughters.

Photo by Vahe Martirosyan on Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Rodolfo Avelar