2 poems by Ivana Kilibarda

Franz Kline, New York, New York, 1953

Sunday afternoon

An insect gentle accepts
a verbal repellant, to which
I turn a cheek. No red.
Oh yes, confidence!
A stroll in December. A skip to July.
Rosehip tea for guests in wool socks.
A rest by fire, as the city mocks me
with voices and sirens.
I see-saw for hours
by myself
unable to unplug the sounds.


All it takes
is a little
smoke on
the Staten Island Ferry.

The seagull stops
circling. The wind
doesn’t know where
to add force but up, up, up!

Fifteen minutes from Manhattan
a noiseless stir of water:
a wake. The clouds
compose above

the bridges. Steam irons the night.
How I wish
we had a light
and that bottle we almost brought

with us. Instead we drink
his cozy lies–
A harbor of warm
baths and masts.


Born in the former Yugoslavia, Ivana Kilibarda currently lives and works in New York City.