In our last conversation, he sat
on a milk crate, held the unlit
cigarette like a fountain pen,
and kept tapping the filter against
his weak heart. As if he wanted
to offer a final walkthrough
inside his chambers, dispose
the melted snow of Mt. Ararat,
wrap the warped Kamancheh of Sayat
Nova in rags, tuck Mama’s grape
leaves like love letters in the left
ventricle. Beethoven blocked
a coronary and a cadenza full
of sonnets pushed against his aorta.
That’s the ashen smoke of Beirut.
That’s the bloated bridge of Bourj,
and that’s you, he said,
my failing tourniquet.