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ARMENIAN TALES By SHUSHAN AVAGYAN And she answered, Memory is the paper that cannot be erased by erasing.--Diana Der-Hovanessian, from The Riddle, 1994 This is a true story she says stepping up to the lectern slowly each step bearing ninety seven years of weight. The audience (cough) at once black crows signing to each other (cough) (cough) we walked at night we hid at dawn buried (cough) ourselves under the sand not to be found by the gendarmes (cough) she is almost blind behind the thick lens--that night we lost two girls Manush (cough) eleven and (cough) Zabel (cough) their bodies hanging (cough) (cough) each morn(cough)ing above my bed, their ton(cough)gues ripped out, (cough) their hair burn(cough)t. -- Shushan Avagyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia. She is currently working on her doctoral degree in English Studies, and is a recipient of the Dalkey Archive Press fellowship at the Illinois State University.