Poem by Alex Braslavsky

August 15, 2023

Pinkyard

Wind luscious in the pinkyard. Next to me, a princess is in threadbare, pterodactyl headgear. It’s why we can’t stick to subject. Today, I saved a plastic fork from my complimentary, continental breakfast. They dyed the Chicago River green and bagpipes interrupted our panel. A helpful metal drum pounded by the river edge. The man in Walgreens cleaned up all of the flyway’s surrounding my face for my passport. I am involved in the world.

Sea ghosts also gathered red sauce in my dream last night. A line of mothers stood before me, an official shot them one by one, then cut them up. Their thigh slabs, breast slabs, heart slabs wrapped in newspaper like filets of fish. River edge closer. It’s only when I’m in a place I’m not from that I notice many people. They ask me to grab a bottle from their backpack or hold the elevator or whether the banana is mine. The candle remains lit every day. Its wick cuts us into

categories. Something satisfying about the striking of a match, a telling flesh that opens up to me, the grate of a purring till on my runway. We all purr at different registers—you wanted to be a frog, I run around the lobby, looking for the room named Lincoln. My Brother texts me to buy the promo video for his business school about bees before extinction. Keys clink, hanging from my back pocket. It’s embarrassing that is not her name.

About Alex Braslavsky

Alex Braslavsky is a poet, scholar, and translator pursuing her doctorate at Harvard and working on Polish, Czech, and Russian poetry. She is the translator of On Centaurs & Other Poems (World Poetry Books, 2023) by Zuzanna Ginczanka. Her poems appear in The Columbia Review, Conjunctions, Colorado Review, and more.