after Croatian poet Olja Savicevic Ivancevic
Andrea O'Rourke

Back when I knew how to speak

every time I’d utter a syllable

the rain wouldn’t drum or rumble

against the asphalt of my street

but tango along with my consonants.

Generally in a low, firm tone,

and regardless of the weather,

the World Cup Finals, or barba Joško

in the courtyard ever-replacing rusted bolts

on his skinny bicycle as Mrs. Tomic preens

violets, petunias, and her varicose veins.

Like a ten ton truck storming through Ucka tunnel,

I’d rise above giant TV antennas, white laundry clapping

like gloved hands, over terracotta roofs, above

Kvarner Bay and the Istrian peninsula. I’d speak,

in a same sentence, of fallen gods and funny bones,

about Mamma Roma and Les Quatre Cents Coups.

Once, on the outskirts of Rijeka, I found a dump—

piles of unanswered and unsent texts—

stacked like toilet seats: some playful couplets,

horny invites, a careful thank-you-but-no.

Andrea O'Rourke, a native of Rijeka, Croatia, lives in Atlanta where she paints massive abstracts and attends the MFA program at Georgia State University. Her work has recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in PANK, Bigger Than They Appear : Anthology of Very Short Poems, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Poet Lore, among other publications.

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