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4 Poems

Ana Božičević


after John Wieners

I stood outside love’s door
Afraid of what I’d find
A howling rainy void
A thousand clowns
The “It” from the phrase
“It’s raining”—
The rain sounds
Like a bunch of eyelashes
Running around.
I tell tiny jokes to myself
In front of love’s door—
I’m afraid I will find
No one there, an empty café—
Well that actually
Sounds nice.
I’d sit down and have
A cappuccino and one cigarette
And read those ancient
Newspapers back to back.
I stand outside love’s door
Praying for
A soft landscape
To walk into,
Worn marble staircase
Some kind words, that’s all.
Once I held love as a thing
And then it came
Alive in my hands, it
Bit, flowed like water...


(after Viktor Vida)

Nikola Tesla fell in love
With a pigeon
Nikola Tesla died
In a hotel room
In New York City
Destitute and abandoned
Like some Keats
Of science
And now
A few miles from where
Nikola Tesla was born
My little brother
Writes sci-fi
Water’s getting harder
And family bones
Dry underground
While a lonely lightbulb
Illuminates the
Checkered tablecloth
I eat bread and cry


I have a sneaking suspicion
My heart is not mine
To give
It lives on a mountain
Buried in a field
Under miles of sod
I pity the fool, mostly myself,
Have to dig it out.
I have a mind
To try taking someone there for
A change,
Pointing to the ground, saying
My heart is in here,
Do something.
Every time it faltered on you
Is cause it was so
Far, the connection distant—
Your heart beat next
To my empty chest while mine
Sent out signals
From an orchard
Across the ocean
Come find me it said
And other perfect things


Fell asleep
Holding my phone
Like a weird little
Metal bird
Woke up to rain
In the window,
Wherever I go
It will rain there too
At least water
Can be trusted
Wish I trusted you
The way I
Trust metal
I was a new phone in
Your hand, a bird
In your palm,
I had
This idea that
Rain is nature’s TV
Maybe it’s the water inside
Me that’s sad

Ana Božičević is a poet, translator, teacher, and occasional singer. She grew up in Croatia and now lives in Brooklyn. She is the author of Joy of Missing Out (Birds, LLC, 2017), the Lambda Award-winning Rise in the Fall (Birds, LLC, 2013) and other big and small collections of poems. These poems are from a new book, New Life.