after Zoran Mušič 

Bitter winter, precious little life
in sight. A house fly
crawls across a window
slick with frost. Pregnant

aroma of bergamot
and something burning
stirs up memories: orange trees,
a train suddenly breaking,

the landscape settling
like the surface of a lake
once the thing that you dropped
in it sinks. How I couldn’t stop

mistaking the pale white hills
for heaps of bodies.
Like hundreds of glowing
sparks, they chased me

when I had to climb over them
to clear my way.
  A man’s face bobs
in a bath of darkness.
What happened to it still happens

to the sun everyday.
Shining eyes begged me,
who could still walk, silently
for help.
  A cup of tea set out

on the table goes cold.
The fly circles the rim.
The stars close their eyes.
Day breaks.

Adrian Silbernagel (he/him/his) is a coffee shop manager by day, poet/educator/activist by night. His poetry book ‘Transitional Object’ was published with The Operating System in 2019. He is a columnist at QueerKentucky, and a Contributing Editor at The Operating System. Visit his website:

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