Daughter of Genocide

Mother Arising Out of the Ashes, Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial, Yerevan, Armenia (Photo: Serouj Ourishian/Wikimedia Commons)

Yet alive,

I shall not let fall my apricot sun

never will I shake, shake my ancestry loose

nor will I scrape off those days of old off my skin

before it catches rust.

I have long learnt to befriend corrosion.

my childhood was smeared with stories of April

nineteen fifteen

stolen land vanished neighbors

nightmares of family

pulled into your ungodly ways

our women forced to carry your seeds

in their wounded wombs

and shave their Armenian prayers off 

their shriveled tongues

while giving birth to your sins

Akh Der Asdvadz, they screamed out

but only in their minds

their child released wrapped in the same blood

that yet feeds the earth of our stolen lands.

you do not belong there 

but there belongs to me.

there is the land of my people

defiant as they come, as ancient 

as rivers and the river Aras that stands between us

you have stained 

my mountain Ararat

the soles of your feet yet ooze bloodshed

upon my streets I smell bloodshed yet

wet, warm with potent sin

you left my mother’s mother’s mother splintered

in tears, her red hands moist placed

atop her husband’s cold corpse laying

like fallen tendril, waxen man,

father, brother void of spirit

unprepared to face death

alone, unarmed

you burnt us into over a million ashes.

in my people’s eyes I yet discern your sharp 


you lurk in our edges, thirsty

for more blood, we know. 

one hundred years did not suffice

to ask for our forgiveness.

you are adamant, odious

in your piercing presence

you may exhale sin into your bordering sky but ours 

remains Biblical.

Perla Kantarjian

Perla Kantarjian

Perla Kantarjian is a writer, journalist and editor from Beirut whose written works have appeared on many online platforms including Annahar Newspaper, Bookstr, Rebelle Society and Elephant Journal.
Perla Kantarjian

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