Death Bird at Midnight

adelina sarkisyan

Untitled Document

and perhaps I was born for this 

quiet, dear body,

smaller than you were this time last year

easier to carry

you are what you are by what you are not

o creeping miracle

softness no longer your purpose 

some days you lie so small

I don’t recognize you at all


god of me, who are you?

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t hold you 

in, your flatness the flatness of men 

& I hate the way men hate,

with a touch of the vampiric


maybe I am for this — 

this this this that is drawn to the wet wet of living

like a babe I feel with an open mouth

the sweetness of bodies like falling geese in a rainstorm

one terrible thing swallowing another


and so it goes, I into you into mouth into you

into pupil into you into spring into you

into air into you into body into you

into you into you into you


into birdsong and you the great, sharp beak of night

I can’t help it; I am so many things at once

so many things without even the thought to be

and they come and go like no particular promise


oh listen — 

there is an old love of the unnatural in me

into which I once fell and keep falling

I cannot help but smile

I cannot contain you who contains me


(title from the film Nosferatu)


Adelina Sarkisyan is an Armenian-American writer based in Los Angeles. Her writing has been nominated for Best of Net and appeared in various publications, online and in print. She is the Poetry Editor for Longleaf Review. Find her on Instagram @adelinasarkisyan and Twitter @etherealina.