Featured Poet Edvin Subašić

Migrations 

A boy in the darkness burning candles, shadows

on the ceiling so playful so yellow, reads

Crime and Punishment, follows

furious light inside the sullen mountains across

the rivers seas oceans, obscures

time: July 2020 and the burning planet on TV somewhere

in France or Japan in the morning, he walks

sidewalks of restless town between roofs so

red so black his imagination awakens fear travels

from his toe tips to his head freezes

his eyelids his courage awaits

for dusk again for silence of lackluster distance.

Prison beds are warm firm comforting lifeless

at home unknown out there under the sun, he hears

his name called from beyond the borders of

dream in sleep into the night.

Café Berlin rooms lit in red little boxes watched

from outside, stands on the forgotten underground

rivers, women wear golden wigs and leather boots while

men are the same everywhere on Earth.

He spends his nights in red and neon, stares outside at the

painted black, when he wakes up in the morning goes to

work he thinks of nights and one night outside the Café Berlin.

She stands in the December night in front of a street light, moths

curl her hair she gazes

ten thousand miles away, he feels

the freeze of the winter night, he lights up

and walks away.

He travels only the back roads on a bed carried

by sixteen million ants he rests his arms and legs, looks

at the moving landscapes, faces

drag themselves along in silence, houses with eyes mountains

kneeling dancing bears and fake clowns.

New York City is a house, people shift around its rooms, they live

in its basement wait for the night, nights are safe in cities, they smell

of forgotten bars remains of music, the smell

never surrenders their clothes their memories.

He listens to gypsy reggae, tucks the house away in the little pocket of his

jeans, swarm of smiling bees follows his path, he thinks there is a reason there

is a logic, he stands up in motion, his thoughts fly away with the

bees, the distance never changes only the empty nests stay behind echoing

evidence along its chambers following structures.

Repeat

I take another look at all the

five thousand lives I could’ve

had and pick them one by one

the ripe strawberries

melting in my mouth

inseparable from dream

unstoppable like time

All the lives I’ve begun

for a few years and quit or

the ones I’ve never had

all the people I’ve met and

never seen again

places with homes

houses with windows

staring quietly

paranoid barks of

their dogs calling for

a repeat—

I gaze down the time arrow

and shatter my wit

that will die with me

safe and determined

once again

About the contributor

Edvin Subašić was born and raised in Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the age of 21, he immigrated to the US in 1997 as a war refugee and learned English. He is the recipient of 2018 Redivider Beacon Street Prize in Fiction. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s, Redivider, Out-of-Stock, and The Cabin’s “Writers in the Attic” anthologies. Edvin teaches English as a Second Language at Boise State University, where he also studies fiction in the MFA program.

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