Second Birth by Shahé Mankerian

When we killed the wolf, the butcher
began to carve open the stomach.

Inside the fuming belly, we found
a sheep, a cock, a hood the color

of pomegranates, Parlophone records
of Lili Kraus, a Citroën hubcap,

Bonaparte’s last letter to Joséphine,
a whale bone Meerschaum pipe,

a wedding ring on a severed finger,
a cape, a map, a pumpernickel bread,

the bus bench once occupied by Rosa
Parks, a grizzly bear, the doomed temple

of Zeus, the empty tomb of Christ,
Umm Kulthum, the eye of a tornado,

the crescent moon, the pancreas,
and the poems that Jacques Prévert

never wrote.

Shahé Mankerian’s manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, has been a finalist at four prestigious competitions: the 2013 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the Bibby First Book Competition, the Quercus Review Press (Fall Poetry Book Award), and the 2014 White Pine Press Poetry Prize.  His poems have appeared in Mizna.

What has he lost that he’d most like to be reunited with? “I lost my father in 1993.  I would love to reunite with him for just a few hours.  So much has changed since he left.  The last significant thing he did was buy me a typewriter so I can write.  Twenty plus years later, I have so much to show him.  I have poems, a lovely wife, a daughter that laughs just like him.  I lead a school of scholars.  Dad, I became a principal.  When you left, we had barely inaugurated Clinton as president.  If we do reunite, you might be disappointed to see a moron for a president.”

Art — Philip King lives with his partner, cat, and two plants in Portland, Oregon. He is in the process of editing his first novel and creating his first graphic novel, and his work has been featured in the Portland State University Vanguard, Pathos Literary Magazine, Annex Zine, and Literary Brushstrokes. He has displayed work at the Saatchi Gallery in London, England, the Todd Art Gallery in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and in Portland at the AB Gallery, the MK Gallery, the Sugar Cube, St. Johns Racquet Center, the Littman Gallery, Synesthesia Festival, NextNorthwest, Splendorporium, and the Holocene. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Practices from Portland State University in 2016.

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