Friday, December 4, 2015

Ally Malinenko- Three Poems

Bio: Ally Malinenko is the author of the poetry books The Wanting Bone and How To Be An American (Six Gallery Press) as well as the novel This Is Sarah (Bookfish Books). A poetry collection entitled Better Luck Next Year is forthcoming from Low Ghost Books. She lives in Brooklyn and tweets a lot about Doctor Who

This is Not What Happened

You think it is
but it is not
like a dream can sometimes
feel real
even when the water closes over your head
and you know there is no way
you could still be talking
still breathing
that part of you that says,

this is not what happened.

It is June 10, 2014.
This is what happened.

That hurricane inside me was nothing
it blew apart into little bits.
Now, a year later
we are not still wondering and worrying.
We are not still talking about dying
young and painfully.

This is not what happened.

Instead we are still throwing our arms
out wide,
catching the world,
digging in our fingers
to stop it from spinning.
We have learned to love
without judgement.

This is not what happened.
Dread has not settled
like a hungry vulture
upon my shoulders
It does not eat my eyes.
It does not eat my liver.

This is not what happened.
We are not shouldering unbearable fear
We are still young
and in love.
We are still crafting with our hands a life.
We are still a part of this humanity,
we love our families
we eat our food
we drink our wine.

This is not what happened.
We are not dying.

God Bless America
He was
a navy seal
a yoga instructor to be
a father
who survived multiple deployments to Iraq
only to return
to Florida
to a local bar
where he was shot
and killed
by another white
man with a love for guns.

May Day

We take the train out to Kreuzberg in Berlin
to find dinner
and drinks
for my birthday
something quiet
because things have been so hard
and I am happy to bury my thirty seventh year in the dirt
toast it’s death with a nice glass of German white wine
but instead we find people
so many spilling out of every bar
and club and filling the subway stations
beer bottles
clutched by the neck in their sweaty hands
90’s rap blasting through the platz
chants in German that we can’t understand
police linking arms to keep
the kids back
as you take my hand pushing through the throngs
saying this isn’t right,
this is madness

and I realize in that moment
inhaling all that spring air
and chatter and spilled beer smell
and Berlin
in her naked glory
Berlin who doesn’t care if you love her
Berlin who has been bombed to hell
and the walled up
and beaten down
Berlin who still hasn’t given up
I realized
that the only thing that doesn’t belong here
right now
is me
and you.

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