Graffiti found in an LA bathroom stall at 2:24 AM


by Ariel N. Banayan


smoking is my healthiest habit

prayer is my final sin

 

I am a lot lonelier when reading a poem

 

the air growing dirtier, I suddenly imagine ash

neatly sitting on everything around me as the torn shadow

 

of a burning plane still in flight—

 

loneliness is my only joy

 

happiness & transcendence & flight are not the same

paradise anymore

 

so I hold loneliness near my dusty body

despite its transience & I cherish

a feeling not found in ads

anywhere—

 

people have better things to do than read

I realize

as the hollow nightcolor presses against my skull

with its empty hand

to carve a face from ice


 

 

Ariel N. Banayan is an Iranian Jewish writer born and raised in Los Angeles. He is currently a graduate fellow at Chapman University’s dual MA/MFA degree program, where he teaches a class on the rhetoric of memory to first-year students.