By Missak Artinian
She leans against the rusted railings, peering
Down at the polluted streets from the balcony.
Her frail fingers clench the butt of a cigarette
Like a soldier clinging tightly to her own rifle.
A black smoke veils her mouth. She doesn’t talk.
Not about the Civil War. Never about grandfather.
I tell her smoking will kill her. She nods her balding head,
Takes one last puff before throwing the butt off the balcony
And lights another.