My Father’s Skin Looks Like the Surface of the Moon

They told you shrapnel makes men

celestial, that’s why you joined

the army. In midsummer, when weathervanes

carousel, you pull your silence

taut over our house. Nothing bad

will happen to us now, not with you

standing sentinel at the edge

of our sleep, guarding

against the peacethieves.

In the living room

you and I mummify, waiting

for the rains to pass. Dust settles

on our eyelids, the choleric

mahogany. Should you ever speak,

I’d tie my hair to the hooves

of your voice, I’d have my death by dragging

out what the water wills sunk. I’d ask

if you’ve seen the moles in the garden, the bird

nest under the eaves. I’d ask how many

you captured. How many did you kill?


Selma Asotić is a bilingual poet from Sarajevo. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, EuropeNow, and The Well Review. She is currently pursuing an MFA degree at Boston University. Mostly, she would prefer not to have a biography.