Friday, December 22, 2017



Nona, who lived through three of them,
rarely talked about wars. In the kitchen

the macramé lampshade filtered
a chain-link shadow across her face,

a grid of borders dividing her neckline,
the dark apron that fell across her breasts

like night over a pair of capsized boats.
The tap water rushed and tumbled

over the mackerel piled in the basin,
her hands holding the dead fish

the way she held her sons, one by one
each year of the Second War,

before pulling a bed sheet over them,
and shutting their thin eyelids for good.

She’d pick up every fish with care, cradle
it in one hand, while her other, free hand

would sink the narrow fillet knife
into its white belly—a narrow passage

one makes when sliding into bed at night.
And like a waking flower, a stream

of blood would bloom within that basin,
her hands brush against its thin petals.


Andrea Jurjević, a native of Croatia, is the author of Small Crimes, winner of the 2015 Philip Levine Prize. Her poems, as well as her translations of contemporary Croatian poetry, have appeared in journals such as Epoch, TriQuarterly, Best New Poets, The Missouri Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of a Robinson Jeffers/Tor House Foundation Award for Poetry, a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a Hambidge Fellowship. Her translation of Mamasafari (and other things) from Croatian will be published by Diálogos in 2018.


We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

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