On Your Face

Cyrus Armajani


How do you turn falling on your face

into something else?


Do you get up and keep walking?

Do you turn over on your back and ponder a kite in a tree?


Do you keep your face down

describe the taste of dirt?


Turn your head to the side

listen to ants crawl?


Somebody asks him

what will you do now?


What I’ve always done.


Stand on the corner

try and feel wind on my face.


Throw rocks

watch water.



Somewhere on earth

a girl reads.


Next to her

another girl is learning to read.


Cyrus Armajani

Growing up waiting for the bus

learning to read


street signs

“All activity on this block is being recorded,”


teaches you.

You are not safe and

you are the reason.



Cyrus Armajani


When at last the ducks

come flying in


I realize I am not the hunter,

rifle or trigger, finger or squeeze.


When at last the ducks

I am bent


blades of grass

underneath leaves.

To Feel

Cyrus Armajani

Laces on construction boots, the glue holding a soccer ball together, a chair just for camping in a bag made just for that chair. A clue. A call. A tiny red circle on your phone asking you to feel the hand, the pulse in her thumb who for a few hundred dollars a month stitched and may or may not have thought of the feet that would one day fill in her eyes tears are for washing out foreign bodies.