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GENOCIDE By William Michaelian Today I will make bread: Butter. Eggs. Olive oil. Water. Milk. Flour. Salt. No yeast. Baking powder instead. Knead lightly, roll out, cut into small portions. Brush with egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until golden brown. Rejoice. Poor orphans, your mothers and fathers are dead. No more your good-smelling grandfather. No more your grandmother, her wise and angry voice. Hold out your hands, dear ones. Let me fill them with bread. A great cry goes up, the cry of ten thousand starving birds. Pleading eyes. Empty hands. Faces smudged with sweat and dirt. Swollen tongues. Frail limbs. Nails like wild claws. Take. Eat. You are the bones of this body now. You are a rainbow, rising from a river of blood. Take. Eat. Turn this bread to song. The earth is an upturned ear. Listening, listening. My hearth is an altar blackened by fate. Every brick remembers. Every brick knows. The orphans have eaten all the stars. Looking for them, the night has gone mad. She finds a door. Let me in, she cries. Let me in. -- Several of William Michaelian's poems and short stories have appeared in Ararat. Many have also been translated into Armenian, and have been published in Yerevan in Garun, Grakan Tert, Aghpyur, and Artasamanyan Grakanutyun. The author maintains an extensive website at http://www.williammichaelian.com/