Blue Willow: A Poem

December 19, 2020   •   By Armen Davoudian

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Blue Willow

My mother sliced the cucumbers on a plate
and sprinkled them with salt and lemon juice.
A dragon inked in blue, fat as a goose,
shone through their pale translucent flesh. We ate
the puckering slices, my brother and I, then dared
each other to drain the juice. I wasn’t scared.
The jellied seeds quivered like dragon spawn.
Glazed with acid yellow, their mother glared

and I glared back, startled by my own
eyes on the plate. And then it was as though
when I tipped up the dish and sucked the brew,
the thick spawn burned my throat all the way through
and, hatching there, made my whole body shudder.
I grabbed the knife and pointed at my father.

 

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Armen Davoudian’s poems and translations appear in AGNIThe Sewanee ReviewThe Yale Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Swan Song, won the 2020 Frost Place Chapbook Competition.