I am not a phoenix forged from fire,
nor a shape shifter.

Taking life from cigarette ash,
I weigh next to nothing.

Like Dido who flung herself into the pyre,
I mean well, but flip the switch

and I am in this story, my own little aquarium.
First, the fallen arches. Then the broken floor.

Finally, a bathtub filled with unanswered prayers.
My fiery bed floats in the Mediterranean,

negotiates waves off the coast of Tunisia.
The vanity of a woman setting her own hair on fire.

I burn double-fast, smoke myself to death.
The bed now sits on flames of water,

in between Carthage and something deeply blushing.
I have been harangued and hung by men who have left me,

a learned girl,
a queen of costumes that don’t fit.

A sad smell enters,
and I tell a lie to strike a deal.


ARMINE IKNADOSSIAN was born in Beirut, Lebanon and moved to Southern California when she was four years old. A resident of Pasadena, she received her undergraduate degree with an emphasis in creative writing from UCLA and earned a graduate degree in poetry from Antioch University. She teaches English, journalism, and poetry recitation and has received two fellowships from Idyllwild Arts. Publications include Alabama Literary Review, Backwards City Review, Margie, Pearl and Rhino. Her poetry manuscript Dogmata challenges the sacred feminine through persona poems and revisions of Biblical and Agnostic mythology.

One response to “Dream for Dido”

  1. Angela says:

    Oooh I like it! beautifullanguage and metaphor. I’m feeling it. THANK YOU!!!!

Leave a Reply to Angela Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *