A new poem by Alexandra Oliver

After Matija Bećković

I haven’t been out in a very long time
or seen anybody (nor will I tomorrow).
I lost all my hobbies. I don’t give a damn.
I don’t even bother to look out the window.

So why don’t you take yourself off to some prison–
Sremska Mitrovica, Zabela, say–
sit in for some wearied and cagey old felon
who’d give his left ball to escape for one day,

even if only to wander the streets
or gape like a dope in the warmth of the sun?

But friend, aren’t I pacing my cell in defeat
when somebody else had the courage to run?

ALEXANDRA OLIVER is the author of Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway (2013). She is a contributing editor for Partisan. 

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