Subject to Dust

Subject to Dust

After our discussion of childhood traumas, once

we’ve revisited a town in this valley named

Yettem (Armenian for Eden), you press your back against my chest.

Our Yettem is here, my hand runs from your ribs across

your stomach; I envision

the bodies of Yettem’s 211 residents

huddled in their beds in the fog, unseen from airplanes, untouched

by light. I trace the light

stubble of your pubic hair with the tips of my fingers; I see the long

stretches of road that lead

from point to point in this valley, that need signs that say subject

to dust. I think about the similarities between dust

& fog, &

we are covered by our own sheets of fog. I am the recipient

of your condensation; I feel your mouth open

against the gentle pressing

of my thumb. We are breathing fog & releasing it from its duty—

to blind those in its fold—

& as you lead me into you

I hold your hand against your thigh in a freezing of time. We

are quiet. We see our hidden futures

behind the eyelids of our sleeping children. You

move to take me entirely, after I bite

your shoulder, in the blinking out of porchlights,

after I cup your breast, inside the admittance

of our limits—the dismantling

of our ideas of limits. After our mouths turn toward each other, we

kiss as if we can only be fed from us. Our

Yettem undoes itself from a wreath of clouds.

About the author

Ronald Dzerigian

Ronald Dzerigian is the author of Rough Fire (Finishing Line Press, 2018). His poems have appeared in the Australian Book Review, Comstock Review, Prairie Schooner, RHINO, Salamander, and others. He resides in a small farming community, in California's San Joaquin Valley, with his wife and two daughters.