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Nadya Radulova, from A Balkan Exchange

Vinea Mea Electa

he was too young
unconfirmed
for my thirty-something years

behind the high walls
I searched for him in the yard
but all I saw was his skin settling
and drying
untouched by the sun

spiders bees and mayflies
ritually spilled their secretions on it
the fig trees had deep indecent
shadows
and the low-lying creepers choked
the immaculate blossoms
of his stained-glass belly

I told his mother I wanted him

but she said
he was too young
unconfirmed
for the wine I was fermenting
among the damp dusty shameful
ferns