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"Liberty Leading the People"

after Eugene Delacroix

The bulb under the bridge is broken. It dangles,
unfixed. Unsolved. Unlike the coaxed French I save
up for foreplay. Don't mistake a poem for brisk rave
or plodded etude wherein two ​fors ​give rise to a right.
I don't believe in just desserts, or talking mammals
who've resisted depravity, or prayers to shorten an accident's
life. After papercuts, we remember scars wrong. Sometimes for money. 
Sometimes while playing an accordion in the park near your house. 
Cold leche of marble countertops under my hands 
dicing green onions, luscious leeks. A man without a home knows
the rich lie of our liberalism. I share wine freely with friends
but the mouth wants chocolate, the mouth
wants bayonet and bonnet,
bodice fallen to the waist.

                                                                            —Alina Stefanescu
Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Alabama. Her poems and prose are recent or forthcoming in DIAGRAM, New South, Mantis, VOLT, Cloudbank, Prairie Schooner, NELLE, and others. She serves as Poetry Editor of Pidgeonholes, President of the Alabama State Poetry Society, and co-founder of the Magic City Poetry Festival. Her first poetry chapbook, Objects in Vases (Anchor & Plume Press, 2016) won the ASPS Poetry Book of the Year Award. Her first poetry collection, Stories to Read Aloud to Your Fetus (Finishing Line Press, 2017) included Pushcart-nominated poems, one of which will appear in Choice Words: Writers On Abortion (forthcoming form Haymarket Books). Her debut fiction collection, Every Mask I Tried On, won the Brighthorse Books Prize and was published in May 2018. More online at www.alinastefanescuwriter.com or @aliner.