Poetry - Issue 14 | February 2012

Two Poems by Sean Edgley

Postcard from Belgrade

Београд  off-white city     of   red Cyrillic
  Teenagers gather   around an oxidizing horse   in front of the opera house
Nubile lip gloss   street lamps     and a girl crossing the square
      with hips poised like the centered swivel of scissors

The sky filled with gutters and a Danube that runs on diesel
  Down every alley
      the stone threat of the gulag
        meat hung in windows
          tables for one
              the sadness of Chinese restaurants  
The skinhead that walks off screaming into the park
  erupting in biceps  
      descending into the underworld sunset
The police line the avenues in riot gear
      the end of the football match
          and beer

The new money limousine smiles  
  the gypsy mothers  
      the hotel room arguments

      And one can never be sure what’s going on inside the opera house

  Clouds and women in shawls drift  
  over the Balkan markets
      pears in the shadows
          of early-morning techno

  Birds like Teslan mustaches radiate from the tops of
  donated Swiss trams that rattle down the cobblestones
  Feral dogs walk me home or to church
      forlorn as an Orthodox cross  
The NATO-bombed buildings
sag in disrepair
      All the while there is a woman in front of the train station
        selling pretzels
          with no love   no bread  
              no teeth   to speak of

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About the author

Sean is a native Californian who has spent the better part of his twenties away from the West Coast. He’s currently halfway through the MFA program at City College of New York. You might have heard his work at the Cake Shop and Earshot reading series in Manhattan.

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