Volume 24, Number 2

In Serbia

We’re waiting on the steps by the Danube;
he speaks of our ancestral lands,
and his eyes glint iron
for a moment

and something opaque flashes
across his face.
I smell male sweat

as loose
rocks tumble down
sounding like boots clattering.

He said, “Every thirty years,
another war,”
and smiles with his mouth.

—Aileen Bassis