Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

3 Poems by Ally Malinenko

Train Ride

It ends here,
with me still the child
waving and waving
and waiting for you to look.

And you still
not looking back
but instead out the train window
to a future that is different

weaved together by this moment
where one stays and one goes

I’m here trying to go,
trying to let go
to not hold and pull and strangle.

I want to be ceaseless and brave and strong.
But instead I still knock and knock
upon the closed door
my mouth against the wood


I say if you hear me shouting
shout back
over the water
over the multitude of drops
so I know I am not alone.

Say this:

Stop asking the questions you don’t want to hear the answer to
Instead rise
and walk,

always walk
back into the open mouth
back behind the teeth
to the small hard parts.

Back to what you must let go.

Nothing I Eat Has Any Taste Anymore

It starts first with the books, none of which are helping,
to pull me away from these orange walls
and into another life.

Then it happens with the food,
my mouth no longer working,
no longer able to separate
meat from bone.
To swallow, even.

Then it happens with the walk.
I turn off the music,
on the busy Brooklyn street
realizing that the voices in my head have all been silenced.

The air becomes water
and I worry now it will happen with breathing.

And like a goldfish I will drop to the sidewalk,
my mouth opening
and closing
and opening and closing

not a bubble of air will go in
and not a sound will come out.

And I will die here like an accident victim
trapped in my own uselessness.

American Games

On the train, he reads the paper glancing at the headline
about the nineteen year old boy who brought
a city to its knees until they found him
hiding in a boat.
And then America won again, the way we always promise
we will win.

He reads parts of the article aloud
whistling low and long
at the hours that it took to find
this nineteen year old boy.

Boy oh boy, he says,
and whistles again.
Boy oh boy. What a country.

and then flips to the back
Lots of sports on tonight, he says.
Yes indeedy.
Lots of good ballgames
good old american games.

Ally Malinenko’s second book of poem Crashing to Earth is forthcoming from Tainted Coffee Press and her first novel for children, Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb was recently published by Antenna Books. She lives in the part of Brooklyn the tour buses don’t come to but was voted to have the best halal truck.


One thought on “3 Poems by Ally Malinenko

  1. Pingback: Three Poems at The Blue Hour | allymalinenko

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