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Winter Ribs

Evgeniya Dineva

I woke up and found him dead on the floor. 


it wasn’t him who died but his dog. 

Its ribs were forming a balloon 

in the middle of the frail shape. 

This once delicate flesh turned into a scab

a hole

sprouting from its stomach. 

I didn’t know dogs had hipbones 

like my sister’s right after she decided 

two biscuits and whisky were enough for the day. 


The taste of wet soil fills my mouth 

as I walk out on the porch because I don’t know where

he keeps the white sheets 

and what he is doing with all the food. 

In the bustling clouds of the approaching winter 

there are no smells, no hairs, no collars. 

No misunderstandings, no shouts or commands.


He didn’t say he’d miss this 

but he will. 

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.

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