» Poetry

A Love Supreme

after John Coltrane


The paraffin vapor trails from the heater,

and at the window, lilies and corn plants


slack like morphine-softened tongues.

Again, from downstairs the muffled sighs


rise from the neighbor watching porn,

and across the street the blue porch light


comes on, and the youth, like shadows,

slip in and out the cracked screen door.


The greasy sheen of the wartime-grey road

reflects the moon—a damp cigarette butt


orbiting the city slowly as if held by someone

tired from the day, someone who yet again


fades into his own, perhaps darker night.

The little blue urn with your mother’s ashes


sits by the spinning vinyl of Coltrane.

We stroke each other’s silence. You give. I take.


What we keep unsaid we taste on our tongues,

and we call that fate. You say, I’m crazy


about you, and in your blood-hot eyes I see

phone wires suspended over deserted miles,


a man sipping on one more glass of scotch,

the fluency of his tight lips, sleepless eyes,


keeping his and my shelved love

from crushing it by oxygen and sunlight,


the poverty of words, and I hold onto

what’s in my memory, and what’s in my hands.


Andrea Jurjević

Andrea Jurjević is a poet and translator from Rijeka, Croatia. Her work has appeared in EPOCH, TriQuarterly, Best New Poets, the Missouri ReviewThe JournalGulf Coast, The Southern Humanities Review, and other literary journals. Her first poetry collection, Small Crimes, won the 2015 Philip Levine Prize, and her translation of Mamasafari, a collection of prose poems in Croatian by Olja Savičević Ivančević, is forthcoming from Lavender Ink / Diálogos. She is a recipient of a Robinson Jeffers Tor Prize, a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a Hambidge Fellowship. She works as a Lecturer in English at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.