Alina Stefanescu

Red Chair With Potential

I stared at the red chair until
it turned into a boulder in a chestnut
grove where dolls remove their
clothes and cry. But first, it was

a podium where the blond Barbie
pastor officiated a marriage of
two moms. Then it was a hide-out
for horrible tooth-aches. Look,

I don't believe my mom knew
she was dying, or I need to prove
none know the difference between
dreaming & disappearing, its edges
sunk like the angles of shipwrecks.

The bottle near the boulder
has no message. The chair is
never constellations. I give up
on the moon, its bold statements,
all boneless promises, meat.

There is a mask inside
a man on the bridge before
dying. There is the water.
There is a way falling goes
on without us. Pretend
it's the boulder.

Forgive Me If I Say by Darnell "DeeSoul" Carson

Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her partner and several intense mammals. Her writing can be found in diverse journals, including Prairie Schooner, North American Review, FLOCK, Southern Humanities Review, Crab Creek Review, Virga, Whale Road Review, and others. She serves as Poetry Editor for Pidgeonholes, Poetry Editor for Random Sample Review, Poetry Reviewer for Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Co-Director of PEN America's Birmingham Chapter. She was nominated for 5 Pushcart Prizes by various journals in 2019. A finalist for the 2019 Kurt Brown AWP Prize, Alina won the 2019 River Heron Poetry Prize. She still can't believe (or deserve) any of this. More online at www.alinastefanescuwriter.com.