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Saturday, October 07, 2006


by Shahé Mankerian

They dragged a man down the street
with gunshot celebrations,
with gold-plated Christs around their necks,
with boys learning to throw stones.

They dragged a man
who worshipped the other god,
who spoke a different dialect,
who wore a militant scarf.

He lived in a metal shack
without windows, without a wife,
without the Koran on the nightstand.
He couldn’t read.

They dragged a dead man.
He died miles before.
He died long before a rope was tied
around his ankle. He died

when he carried his first gun,
when he was fourteen,
when he realized god was a bullet,
when he pulled the trigger.

Poet/playwright Shahé Mankerian spent his formative years in Beirut, Lebanon . After migrating to the United States, he received his graduate degree in English from California State University, Los Angeles . In 2003, he won both the Erika Mumford Prize and the Daniel Varoujan Award from the New England Poetry Club. Recently, Edifice Wrecked nominated his poem “She’s Hiding My Keys” for the 2004 Pushcart Prize. In 2005, his play Vort (Worm) was adapted into a short film; it premiered at the Silver Lake Film Festival spring of 2006. Recently, his play “Little Armenia” debuted at Hollywood ’s prestigious Fountain Theatre.