Slowly, Slowly

Inside the Museum of Fallen Soldiers, Stepanakert (Photo provided by the author from her travels to Artsakh in May 2019)

Bathe each fresh cut in our rivers of tears.
Remember,
Take care of the root.

Kiss all the pain into stars, within scars, within stars.
Remember,
Take care of the root.

Plant our battered hearts at Mayr Hayastan’s feet.
Remember,
Take care of the root.

Breathe truth beyond snag of grey wolves’ gold teeth.
Remember,
Take care of the root.

See all but our last hope crumble under winter sun.
Remember,
Take care of the root.

Be vessel, be witness, be living stone.
Remember,
Take care of the root.

We are
We are
We are still here
Unbearably
Hungering for a taste of justice
Making bread out of bitter fruit

Elise Youssoufian

Elise Youssoufian

Elise Youssoufian is a transrevolutionary poet, artist, activist and board-certified therapeutic musician, whose biophilic works are rooted in cultural recovery—via Armenian folk music, folklore, needlework and language studies in the US and in Armenia—and collective and intergenerational trauma healing as a student of global pioneers in the field. An MFA candidate at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, Elise is weaving together divine-feminist praxis, ancestral radiance and indigenous resilience in response to the systematic and unrepaired eradication of Armenian cultures and communities within and beyond Musa Ler, Aintab and Nakhichevan, into and through a forthcoming textile-and-poetry project, "Three Trees and Ten Thousand Stones."
Elise Youssoufian

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