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Thursday, October 22, 2020


by Roberto Christiano 

"Fear of Pain," oil painting by Igor Shulman

I have heard the sirens falling
falling like the songs of sorrow
I have seen the black man hobbled
hobbled by the blues of bullets
I have smelt the forests burning
burning till the ashes whiten
I have seen the mermaids leaving
leaving as our rivers rumble
I have heard the children crying
crying with our cupboards empty
I have smelt the fear of winter
winter with the sirens calling

Roberto Christiano won the 2010 Fiction Prize from Northern Virginia Review. He received a Pushcart Prize nomination for poetry in Prairie Schooner. His poetry is anthologized in The Gávea–Brown Book of Portuguese-American Poetry (Brown University). His chapbook Port of Leaving was published by Finishing Line Press. Other poems have appeared in The New Verse News, The Washington Post,, and The Sow's Ear.