by Catee Baugh
If touch, wind-worn stones. Dusty. The corners of a thousand crosses. The barely-raised curves of an alphabet used only here: formed from the arid mountains, the high winds.
If taste, the burn of ozone. Dry lightning of rage the past ignites.
If sight, blinding—one crucifix wreathed in petrified light. The honed edges of it. A flaming sword. Where the arms would be nailed, there is the hilt.
If sound, this tangle of screams. One voice choked by another.
If a body, hands clawing their way out to the sterile blue sky.
If a caption, say the eagle with his rigid shoulders stands also on the coat of arms. Say these khachkars were first built for salvation of the dead. (But you can read that in history books.)
If a construct, a ladder out of the tomb. A conduit. As if God were lightning to be called down into the earth.
Catee Baugh is a poet whose work has appeared in ArLiJo, Naugatuck River Review, and Modern Grimmoire: A Contemporary Anthology of Fairy Tales, Fables & Folklore (Indigo Ink Press). She holds an M.F.A. from George Mason University and is an editor for Gazing Grain Press. Currently, she lives in Maryland.