Alen Hamza

Again the Fable Dies

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A man of my gender once said to me,
Let it go, and it will go away from you.
If at the end I realize I thought I wanted
to be a poet but deep down I really wanted
to be a poem—so what?
Mary is lonely.
Said Tomaž about Mary.
Whiff of freesia in architecture library!
I architect into a teenager, all of seventeen.
St. Louis summer, hello!
And Bonnie!
You took my breath away with your damp blond hair
before I knew how to handle clichés.
All our future days in that moment
were contained.
Turtles in a pond. Singing frogs. The cat
you worried about because your grandmother
insisted on mixing her hair in cat’s meals.
The same grandmother who haunted my dreams
when I visited your Wisconsin palace.
You kiss on my Bonnie, you marry on Bonnie!
Two bottles at the 34th Street Café, Tomaž!
And I walked out the back door looking
for the bathroom.
My love is a sprinter, a current piercing
stone, branches, moss.
You want a lick? says love to salmon.
And a lick is born.
You, Tomaž, both have and are
a love like that.
I was twelve and you fifty
when we stopped sharing the soil of a fable
called Yugoslavia.
Mary thinks more about you than about me.
When we met, she talked about squirrels
while smoking.
When she put the cigarette out, she talked about
Mary, I too am lonely.
I love colors, and the salty part of the wrist.


ART: Paul Ferragut, Leo Katunaric, Stefanie Schneider

FICTION: Bridget Apfeld, Jennifer A. Howard, Laura Schadler

NONFICTION: Joy Katz, Shena McAuliffe, Kate Partridge, Rob Schlegel

POETRY: Dan Beachy-Quick, Carrie Fountain, Jules Gibbs, Alen Hamza, H. L. Hix, Anna Maria Hong, Krzysztof Jaworski, Thomas Kane, Eric Kocher, Jennifer MacKenzie, Andrew Nance, Paul Otremba, Kate Partridge, Beth Woodcome Platow, Catie Rosemurgy, Claire Sylvester Smith, Lesley Yalen

ET CETERA: Glenn Shaheen’s
“POET The Game”

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