Fall 2020, Volume 29

Poetry by Alina Stefanescu

Tonight As You Pace the Garden

I am eating raw violets.
I am curious about the possessing
in the having been possessed.
I am present for the pastness.

That birdbath sprawled on its side
has forsaken its purpose
has given the snails a steeple
without a church.

You say lazy daisy but I am all
languor, I am all lolling
is recovering from visual
pintucks and half-time
is a noun between goal-posts
for people who want things
but I am all cheering
is what we do to
shush up the crowd
inside. I am possessing
the bittiest breaths of your pacing.

And the snails, they possess
the steeple. The snails
have a path to the sky.




BIO: Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her partner and several mammals. Her debut fiction collection, Every Mask I Tried On, won the Brighthorse Prize and was published in May 2018. Her writing can be found in diverse journals, including Prairie Schooner, North American Review, FLOCK, Southern Humanities Review, Crab Creek Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Virga, Whale Road Review, and others. She serves as Poetry Editor for Pidgeonholes, Co-Director of PEN America's Birmingham Chapter, Co-Founder of 100,000 Poets for Change Birmingham, and proud board member of Magic City Poetry Festival. Alina won the 2019 River Heron Poetry Prize.