Bring-in Soup Kitchen Yerevan

Cold air with Shot surt a!
& hesos Christos! they bring in.

Bitten-by-frost nostrils, blister lips,
glue-eyes on steam they bring in.

Pots of creamy potato, laced with news
of war blaring from a TV, that white noise

beyond two and a half scoops into jars
and plastic bags they bring in.

The tables, so clean, for bowls and gab.
Grab a portion, shovel ‘til you see roses

at ceramic bottom, because hunger’s born
when you wait for elders to line up,

when parents hand their children lavash.
Flakes on mittens, coats, grins they bring in.

& after the rush, after heavy-stomach hush sets-in,
we believe in the world of z’s, the drooping cheeks,

the chins upon knees, shoulders forward,
but a strength to rise from our seats we bring in.

Alex Vartan Gubbins earned a BA from UW-Madison and an MFA from Northern Michigan University and has recently been published in The Tishman Review and By&By Poetry. He taught English and poetry in Qatar for two years (2014-2016) and is now poet-in-residence at Akos Cultural NGO in Yerevan, Armenia.