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Her Name Was Neda

Evgeniya Dineva

My mom called but I didn’t pick up,

she says, waving at the bartender for another daiquiri.

It’s Tuesday and we take whisky shots

before we get kicked out

and I skip work the next day.

We see Hamlet on Thursday

but she is laughing so hard

that people start to hush and turn.

We leave before the end

to thread the burnt orange ground

and toss mud in the foamy green water

by the factory outside town.

I never finished the book you gave me.

She grabs more mud to drown

and tells me she slept with a guy on Wednesday.

We go to the zoo in the afternoon

because she hasn’t seen the penguins yet

and some plants in the garden have bloomed 

at the wrong time of the year.

It’s just us and a bunch of preschoolers

with their teachers.

She scolds them for throwing popcorn at the bears

but we all get ice cream in the end.

I no longer ask her

what she’d call her daughter.

Evgeniya Dineva is a poet from Bulgaria. Her works appear in The Hong Kong Review, Ethel, Asian Cha and others. Her debut poetry collection Animals Without Fathers came out in November 2023. Evgeniya is a fellow of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation for Creative Writing.

Ulysses Nowhere
Secret Sperm

Evgeniya Dineva
Winter Ribs

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