A celebration of Persian voices and talent

Dear Reader, by Arthur Kayzakian


Dear Reader,

by Arthur Kayzakian
“Everything feels like a painting. / Instead of sleeping I am waiting for the sun.”

Dear Reader,
by Arthur Kayzakian

Today I haven’t thought about killing myself.
Maybe because this week I have felt like smoke.

Most of my desires turn to ash,
the aftermath of what burns.

I could end it all.
The mortgage, the deadlines, the apologies.

Everything feels like a painting.
Instead of sleeping I am waiting for the sun.

The unfolding of a world I taste faintly on my tongue,
like rain, but it dissipates the way dreams do

before they ask us to believe
in the planets embedded deep in our bones.

Sometimes I am the cousin of a mirror,
I look like the surface of a lake when spoken to.

At times I am an anthology of hellos.

Have a seat. Let me show you what’s on my mind.

I apologize in advance,
since I will ask you to see things that do not exist.

Even a pane of glass will become a painting.
You will want to ask it: Why is the earth hanging outside my window?

There are things I regret.

Sometimes I am a dress torn from its hanger,
you can tell by the way I failed
to say I love you.


Arthur Kayzakian is the winner of the 2021 inaugural Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series for his collection, The Book of Redacted Paintings, which was also selected as a finalist for the 2021 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. He is the recipient of the 2023 creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is also the winner of the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition for, My Burning City. He serves as the Poetry Chair for the International Armenian Literary Alliance (IALA). His work has appeared in several publications, including Taos Journal of International Poetry & ArtPortland Review,Chicago ReviewCincinnati Review, The Southern ReviewMichigan Quarterly ReviewWitness Magazine, and Prairie Schooner. Learn more at artkay.org. Follow him on Twitter @Artkay19 and Instagram @arthurkayzakian.

Author photo by Andy Smith. FEATURED IMAGE by Sir Manuel via Unsplash.