Sarajevo, Celal

Carl Boon

Photo Credit: Jonathan Khoo/Flickr (CC-by-nc-nd)

Photo Credit: Jonathan Khoo/Flickr (CC-by-nc-nd)

Two decades past the War,
the snow still falls. Old men in old
cafés trace fragments of the past.
You are in a room

far from the warehouse
where the bobsleds rust and rot.
Where you are pretty things,
tapestries cover the walls, and girls

in tights bring sarma on blue plates.
Where you are, you can’t have known
the thunder of rockets, the lines
for bread, the dim, courageous

brothers who fell. One’s uncle lived
without medicine and glasses:
how could you know this? The girls
are prettier now, and their teeth

don’t rot; they betray no past.
I was you when the smoke rose
over the schoolyard trees. I was you
before you were born, and thought,

what happened to the stadium?
What angels there were: Katarina
Witt, Rosalynn Sumners, the Soviet
flag beginning to fray. What demons

came, and quickly, and fell the statues,
and melted for bullets the bronze.
I am happy you can’t know.
I am happy you’re half my age

and in love. Don’t let the shadows
touch you. Let the pretty girls
bring tarhana in red bowls.
Stroll down Put Zivota in the snow.

pencilA native Ohioan, Carl Boon currently lives and works in Istanbul. Recent or forthcoming work appears in The Adirondack Review, Rain, Party, Disaster Society, and Posit. Email: tuib1974[at]

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