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  • Michal (Mitak) Mahgerefteh

Memoir Poetry | Abstract Art 


     The emptiness without mother flourished

     father’s suppressed disappointments; he wanted

     to be a published author, member of the soprano

     fan club, biblical and historical storyteller. . .

     “You understand, but are not around to comfort,”

     so says he who always argues with himself and speaks

     to voices below his hearing. I don’t want to judge your

     thoughts, a tiny vial of happiness could stimulate joy.

     Wiping my eyes with the back of my hands, a flame

     burns through me, make me want to punch a wall

     while embracing mother’s photo in my arms.

     by Michal Mahgerefteh


     This dining room was the busiest area in my parents’ home,

     fresh food prepared daily in case visitors stop by after work;

     “The hungry and curious taking advantage of her weakness,”

     father complained about mother who needed the company

     especially after intense chemo and radiation treatments.

     I sneak a look at father, solid like iron, I avert my eyes

     to the entry door; ceramic garlic and metal horseshoe charms

     fixed around the frame, “Close to thirty-years keeping Jinn

     spirits from our bodies,” he said. They didn’t help her. . .

     cultural superstition bullshit…I expect more from you, father.

     The pain of knowing how unnoticed he was as a caregiver

     drew him to the unseen God, dominating his thoughts, not

     people; complaining about the dirty condition of his house,

     personal hygiene, eating habits. “I don’t open the door…”

     by Michal Mahgerefteh


     Today the horizon glows like a kaleidoscope,

     sound of thunder cooling the air. I’m hungry…

     “You want to eat…make it yourself.” Such a pain.

     I pace between rooms, searching for vegetables

     kept in wire baskets, or maybe in a burlap bag

     hanging on the clothing lines, Where are they?

     Watching me like I was a thief about to steal

     precious gems, My allowance pays your bills,

     do I need to remind you… by the window ripped

     tomatoes on a wilted stem, “Give them life. . . ”

     he urges, Mint and cilantro plants also dried

     and the green and red jalapenos are dying…

     father doesn’t know the meaning of nourish—

     a string of hours together is more than I hoped

     without flawless logic, he tilted his head in a slight

     bow, pained, “You are my favorite Lilith,

     not easily dominated by family and culture.”

     by Michal Mahgerefteh