Abovyan Street, Yerevan. Along, walking along. Swish swish. Adjust. 6 seconds left, walk faster. Statues in bronze. Melty black ice cream. Mexican flag. Americano. Baguettes. The sun is hot. And bachata plays.

Step twice to the left. I love bachata.

Swing right with the leaves of the Persian Silk Tree, Happiness Tree, Mimosa, Albizia something. Leaves around my fireplace, sneeze, cough, stoke a little. Tree of my life. Here I dance on Abovyan Street; I hold some Happiness in my hands. Please grow.

This week is a big festival of French speaking peoples – XVIIe Sommet de la Francophonie à Erevan. Yes, a conference of ‘c’est la vie’ leaders of the world and a TBD fest. The festival, come explore. The summit, entry not permitted. Swipe right denied. Dance left with the uninvited. Macron and posse surely forgot to put me on the list. Oui, je parle français cassé. Curated, broken, scarf sheen. That is hot.

“I am where the dry whisps come and when the ground is wet.”

‘Taxi’ gesture. Au revoir, Monsieur Macron. Another day Trudeau. Kagame, we shall break bread. Ciao. Taxi driver “Chi-cago, dah dah dah dah dah. Hah hah ha! Chi-cago. Oh, Chi-cago”. Reload. “Dah dah dah dah dah dah dah”. He swooshes left to right, dah dah … his paper cup swooshes too. I fight the right fight. Tigran believes as much. Tigran believes me mafioso.

Circa era of my youth, 1922. Chi-cago. Je suis le fils who shoots ‘em up. No bachata with Tigran. We take the streets of Yerevan. Vroom. “Na Ch’ikagoyits’ e” – Tigran hangs over the driver door, ‘hey’ taxi #23 ‘he is from Chicago’. Dah dah dah dah dah. Tigran’s joyful eyes have shot us down. Ha hah hah.

At night, the intermittent street lamps meld into the places where I walk. Parisian “vraiment froid” echoes behind a Lebanese restaurant. Charles Aznavour overtakes the cold. Engraved puzzle pieces and a cascading thought between each lamp. In the softness, ‘oh, another open window’. Neutral. Clanging pots and pans. My mind is neutral. Darkness soft. Steps in softness. Whispers under Happiness.

I am in Yerevan today. I am in Tel Aviv. I am Montreal. I am in Algiers. I am in Bogotá. I am where the dry whisps come and when the ground is wet. Where we dance in memory. I remember. Are you in these places?

There are lights on the hills. Light from not that far above. Whose lights are those that shine so moderately? Refreshing air from foreign places pursue my bed. This stupid squishy pillow pursues me too.

Along the ridge of disemboweled modernity. I do remember. The bits without a twinkle they are disemboweled and they are modern. The lamps that twinkle in dirt that edges on a navy sky. That glow above a city that whispers in this darkness.

There is a smile I was gifted. There is camaraderie below each rooftop. I cannot break these gritty feelings that pour like sand then crash along the eastern Nork ‘hood twinkles.

The same grit that piles up over the feet of Mother Armenia, whose eyes watch us in this dark. Seen. Our most true moments. This darkness it unmasks us. We danced here. Mother remembers.

I have come to see these twinkles on the hills. I’ve come to be forgotten by the French aristocracy of our world. Pursuant thoughts abuse. It is I, and without fortune, this stupid squishy pillow. When happiness was not some leaves I held in alleyways of stone. In hope, more than bosoms of violent memory, which check me in the dark.  When craft and seed were our devotion and Happiness aloft. A time when we were here. 

We ask if you remember.