Two Poems by Sophia Armen

15 February, 2022

Sophia Armen


We Want to Be Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, But We’re Armenian

me and you lived downtown
in the jewelry district
where everyone is named
harout or hussein

across from the place my parents were married
woke up everyday, no mermaids
dressed in white and saw it
dressed in light

on the third floor
above a piss alley
and the metro station
that brought tunes until the AM

we lived upstairs
where the soot fell from the ceiling
and the trash shoot clanked from all 22 floors above
where the water flooded the kitchen
and the balcony was
a fire escape without the escape
we don’t care if we die here
because we’ve
never felt more alive

i would beg you to go see the latino festival in pershing
and you would beg me to come back to bed
and we would both win
because i would come back to bed

buried beneath these tiger-eyed blankets
and in the kitchen up against where the drawer doesn’t extend
we were two young kids just playing pretend
telling each other who the other is

but we don’t run
we’re from here
and dad has worked three blocks away for
twenty-five years
and grandma down the street too
an LA breed and everybody
we know everybody and why the hell does
every body know we are with
each other’s body

me a short black dress
with my curls fist-fighting my bobby pins
your black-grease covered elbows
from a long day at the shop
you collapse on our ugly blue couch
and i collapse on top of you

our mothers are horrified when we bring them
there’s no such thing as experiments of life
for our kin’s kind
who believe they want nothing but to be free

but really all they are
is everything they’ve always been




soorj and silva


daughter of armenia
daughter of iran
you can’t have known what you have give me

offerings of coffee
offerings of warm bread
you can’t have known what you have given me

use 50% of heart
You said
in love,
50% of head

You can’t have known what you’ve given me
in the city that hums

daughter of paklava
brings halt a daughter’s roam
in my arabica-black eyes
you have known

surrounded i’m alone

one scoop of powder
one of cardamom
you can’t have known what you have given me

you have given me home


Sophia Armen is a South West Asian and North African (SWANA) feminist organizer, writer and scholar from Los Angeles, CA, born in 1991. She is organizing for abolition feminism, racial justice, reparations for her community and communities in the U.S., and stopping the U.S. war machine centering women and queer people. She is the Co-Chair and founder of The Feminist Front and Armenian-American Action Network and has been building in the survivor justice movement, Palestine solidarity movement, and SWANA movements in the United States for over 12 years. She is the descendant of genocide survivors from Istanbul, Hadjin, Kharpert, and Van. Her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Hye-Phen Magazine, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Armenian Weekly, and The Electronic Intifada. She tweets @sophiaarmen.

Armenian AmericanIranian Americanpeacepoetry

Leave a comment

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

Become a Member