Why I Am Resourceful by Arminé Iknadossian

Aintab, Turkey: 1915

Crouched behind a wagon,

my great-grandmother, only 12,

can smell benzine, burning hair —

shouts of hungry men, lust in their curses.

Yeranouhi, which means wish,

smears charcoal on her pretty face

like a dutiful daughter, watches

as her mother hides her young brother,

rolling him gently into a small carpet.


Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Arminé Iknadossian’s family fled to California when she was four years old to escape the civil war. After graduating from UCLA, Iknadossian earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University. The author of All That Wasted Fruit (Main Street Rag), Iknadossian’s poetry is included in XLA Anthology, SWWIM, Whale Road Review, Southern Florida Poetry Journal, MacQueen’s Quarterly and The American Journal of Poetry. She has received fellowships from Idyllwild Arts, The Los Angeles Writing Project and Otis College of Art and Design. Iknadossian offers writing workshops and manuscript consultations. Discover more at www.surprisetheline.com.


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