Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania, raised in Alabama, and reared by various
friendly ghosts. She won the 2015 Ryan R. Gibbs Flash Fiction Award and was a
finalist for the 2015 Robert Dana Poetry Award. Her poetry and prose can be found
in current issues of PoemMemoirStory, Shadowgraph Quarterly, Parcel, Noble Gas
, Minola Review, and others. Objects In Vases, a poetry chapbook, was
published by Anchor & Plume earlier this year. She lives in Tuscaloosa with her
partner and four friendly mammals.

The Day Before You Died In Amsterdam
for my mother

We did not address the invisible embolus. We did
not imagine things we couldn't see.
Instead, you told me of downpours and
impossibly red flowerbeds.
You spoke of concrete things like
how much you missed us.
I was glad you'd be home soon.
The words sounded like a comfy wooden bench
near a tree where we would talk.
The concrete continued
until the kids lost a ball in the pool.
A knee needed kissing.
I said I love you.
And then you laughed.
Four words, solid bricks, you
built to last: I love you more.
Four words so dense I can no longer
see past them. Your words now a wall
I bang my head against.
How much more, mama?
And how many mores
you left.

"The gaze..."

The gaze
gives wings
to a bread-crumb

is not quite
the pigeon
possessed of feathers

but the morsel
near a bench

we barely

The Glow of Hiroshima

Twilight we follow through the trees—
what light is not pieced by leaves at certain hours?
What memory is not pooled into puddles on bare feet?

Our century's schizopsychology
leaves us halved,
the glow of Hiroshima
now thumbprints of ashes impressed
our well-fed foreheads.

Foreskin is not enough
to cover the glow
of Hiroshima.

All these American foreskins
hardly fair price
for eternal radiation's

To crave him.

First heard
the word
behind a Baptist
bathroom stall
it's been stuck
in the toilet since.

A word I then
rhymed with raven
in an 8th grade poem.

The teacher danced a jig
but I knew
the best parts
of me

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