Ana Božičević

BABY YAGA

BABY YAGA

I became afraid to
Sleep alone at night
I'd dream we had a household

It was all falling apart
Tho I tried to keep it together
And a fast

Little supernatural old lady
(Vaguely Eastern Euro)
Would skitter up the stairs and berate me

In our language
For shutting her out.
She'd scurry after a tossed ball like a kitten―

But then later, I saw a similar
But vastly more powerful
She-monster

Who penned me in a bare
Tall prison courtyard
And morphed into fairytale characters malevolently

What a fool I was
To underestimate her
I woke as through a heart attack

And after I settled down
Went back into the same dream
And talked to her

She was still terrible
She still needed a friend

--

I began to think
Maybe the moldy portrait
Of a lady by Rembrandt

That I'd brought back from a lightly
Haunted house was
Haunted

Maybe there was something about
The x I lived with there
That haunted

Maybe your white dresser was also haunted
Or the paintings
Done by the girls from before and since

And all of the other people's
Furniture and clothes
Maybe there was something

In the huge tree out the window

--

I began to erase
My browser history
Every five minutes

Like smoothing out a trace on the pebble path
I would say the names
Of the people whose pictures I'd Liked

Over and over
Was I afraid I was forgetting them
Or vice versa

I feared seeing your face on the feeds
Or stepping a foot
Into Manhattan

The tourist come back
From fairyland
Where she slept four hundred years

And everyone she knew
Is dead
Except you

You are immortal
On your ten thousandth affair
You notice the flowers

The tourist leaves every Friday
At the foot of the bar stair
Where you first kissed

You reunite
And get into a freak accident, there's an explosion
She dies but you get

Her eyes in a transplant
And see the world through them and
Love yourself for the very first time

--

I looked off the pier
And knew I could
Just walk off it into the mist

I'd realized by then
I was prolly the one doing the haunting
Wondered if I was on my last haunting

If there was horizon where
I knew Liberty
To be sinking into the mist

I looked off the pier
I'd realized by then
I knew Liberty

And I knew I could

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