a poetry e-zine










Alexandra Sharabianlou

I haven’t forgotten my name yet


The music gives the dark a pulse, the din

pulls at your joints and hums along your skin.

You want to be a wild thing, every twist

of your limbs they will want to cage and kiss.

Be that dangerous grace, your smile all teeth

and blood color. You shimmer, air in heat

a trick of the light—your hips rise and sink

out of their reach. You are on the brink

of yourself, a bright tide miles beneath you

and you don’t know how far it goes, that blue—


I’m a wayward bird, free from a storm’s eye

so why not see if I can swim or die?




“And a six-pence in her shoe”


While he sleeps, in a lump

on the second-hand couch

(as worn down as he feels, she thinks),

her fingers trace the shape of amazement

across the antique veil of lace—

an artifact from a grandmother’s attic.

How the threads have held snowy webs

despite the small, un-careful hands

of its awestruck offspring—

miracles never grow old.

The apartment is in cardboard chaos

and she thinks of summer fort-making,

unfolding fairytales from the flimsy boxes.

She stretches where the box-cutter slipped and bit

the underside of her finger-joints, but

the mix of lip and Neosporin tinctures

were all the remedy she needed.

On the stove, the copper kettle announces

its premiere heat, whistles with a brassy timbre.

The tea she makes has a metallic tang

(it went straight from box to boiling this morning,

she wanted to taste its gleaming newness).


Mug in hand she goes back to her worship

of fingers and fiber, folds the lace back up

so she can drape his maple leather jacket

across her shoulders

(a favorite thing to borrow).


It has always been too big and too

soft. In the dark morning she closes her eyes,

tucks her knees under, and thinks of hide-and-seek

behind her grandmother’s curtains,

the radiator murmuring warmth into the fabric.

It was alright if she fell asleep there

half-way through the after-dinner game.

She was always found, pig-tails drooping,

lips half-smiling in dreams, one cheek pressed

to the blue, rain framed window.




Due Date


Three, three monthed seasons later,

you found a mouse on your porch.


She wasn’t sleeping.


She fit inside the music box that creaked a broken

“Summer Time” as you lay her down.


Cold dressed her in brittle white crystals

and you thought of pale lace loosening

between your sure fingers.


The ground bent your father’s shovel

but you pried the earth open just enough

for the little painted box that didn’t sing right.


You folded the world back over,

shovel clutched in your fist like a rosary.


You wanted to pray—

there wasn’t a name.


That night you thought of summer,

the weight of our little deaths,

my name smoldering in your throat,

and the flimsy white dress

falling from my shoulders like snow.




Dinner Party


The plates are smeared with veins of raspberry syrup

and the savaged carcasses of cakes.

The cacophony of silverware, shouts and lilting giggles

is everyone’s favorite song while under the table,

her knees wobble and knock like ships

in wine dark war waters.


In the chair next to her, he leans over

and makes the promise with the weight of a finger ,

drawing a line across the prickly hairs of her knee.

It’s an old mark, one she has never managed to rub off

since he was the restless wanderer of her earth.

His grin pulls the moment long and thin, and pulls hard

like dogteeth tearing pink muscle string from bone.


She does not uncross her legs, won’t risk giving him

anything with a movement of flesh.

The glass is at her lip but its scarlet contents slosh

against the pale wall of her bite.

His eyes gleam like oil on the street,

a pink tongue flicks at her a forked reminder,

his mouth spelling mine.


Her body move before she can make it

and fakes graceless

in a great blood-colored cataract

before breaking out of the house

and into the night.


In the cab she glows

at the perfect grotesqueness of his chin

dripping with her libation

and the elegant violence of her silence.




Alexandra Sharabianlou is earning her Masters in English Literature: Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She had won Colombia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold in free verse poetry, the Lucy Pope Wheeler Prize, and an honorable mention for the Miroslav Holub Science Poetry Prize. She currently resides in Edinburgh, Scotland but calls San Francisco, California home.

Copyright 2014  Chantarelle's Notebook