Stefan Lovasik

River

​Moving up river to Phnom Ke,
bones hang from trees;
bodies float in a ring
of yellow and green.
I hear children.
The disemboweled lie
in twisted angles
on the shoreline.
Stench opens my throat;
I see children
playing with a red ball,
pushing the dead
to make enough space.
I hear them sing.
They smile and wave
as if to welcome me,
as if this beautiful green death
is worth keeping.

How It Feels

 

when I go dark
a lovely snake enters me
a second and third eyelid covers my sight
so I see through all objects and people
until something dead begins to grow
and I want everything
to burn
to cover myself in fetid oils
because nothing good is here with me
nothing can survive
the decay in my spine
that flows like stagnant water
familiar and satisfying
as anything made of light
the tremor in my throat
ready to give way
I want to soak in this darkness
then cover us in my ashes

this is how it feels


Stefan Lovasik is a U.S. Army combat veteran. During the Vietnam war, he served with Special Operations Forces. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Folio, Gravel, Main Street Rag, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Offcourse, and Pedestal, among others. His first chapbook, Persona and Shadow (Flutter Press) was published in 2015 and a full-length collection, Absolution (Main Street Rag Publishing), will be released in March 2018.