IN LISBON
by Milla van der Have

―  the windows have eyes
sad eyes, eyes like veils
never shedding light.

They keen for ships, I suppose
that are always docked beyond.

So much is lost, not because we stop looking
but because we refuse to let go.

―  the houses have souls,
endless souls that peer into the street
and into the laundry that dances
off simple balconies

waiting for the wind to come.

Things fall apart.  It’s simple.
They say the sea loses its wine-dark despondency
in the arms of the river.

That beyond the streets are more streets
and we all have to find our way back
through the votives and the broken homes

to the old, the beautiful, the harrowing fact
that each harbour needs a Ulysses
to give it meaning.

―  the gods are assembled in a garden
near the water.  They don’t care for fate anymore.

They are only naked.  And whatever
passed for love among them is now
trodden in the soil.

You are on your own.  You are everyman.
That alone should give some solace
as you turn from the sea. Things

can settle now.

―  all the women are named Ofélia
and they’ll wind you down in the dark spell
of their hair until you break up

into the particles that make this city
less singular.

There’s an ancient saying that due east
is due west.  That wherever you go
you have always been.  That’s why

―  the trees are like dancing girls
waving goodbye to departures and arrivals alike.








_____________________________________________________


Milla van der Have is the author of Ghosts of Old Virginny,
a chapbook of poems about Virginia City, which was published
by Aldrich Press in 2015.  Her work has been published in
Word
Riot
, The Meadow, Rust + Moth, Stirring, and elsewhere,
and one of her short stories won a New Millennium Fiction
Award.  She lives and works in Utrecht, The Netherlands.   


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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Literature
 

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 12, Number 2
(Fall 2017)

Copyright © 2017
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

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Apple
Valley Review
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