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Evyenia Sisovitis (University of Toronto)



The current of his stare runs
    ten years, seven months, and one week long.

      His eyes hunt, tight pupil waiting
  to join the conversation,
          but they don’t wave.

  Sores of his country made
        a border fence on his skin,
  committed as a footprint to the dirt.

    Over swollen buds and black tie larynx,
        the aftertaste of leaving on his tongue
            is the only settlement he knows. His mouth

        blooms like a fresh cut before the tipping,
plump and final if not tended to accordingly.

          kao sloboda,
          ne kao laceracija.1

          No Serbian word for home.

          His lips sit firmly fixed
      over the gap tooth exposition spread out of favor
for the men who broke him in,

      the men who
handed him another shot of rakija 2
        as if they had a stopwatch fixed into their palm,

    the men who
        push borderlines sharp enough
to cause whiplash between vertebrae
          and backbone.

          his trace is trespass.
          the gates have shut.

He stands nomadic between the two,
      holding up his three-finger salute –
          one for him, one for us, and one for them,

              but no one waves.

          He stands
patiently washing himself down,
      awaiting electric tridents of Chronos to carry him home.



1 – as freedom, not as laceration
2 – fruit brandy



Evyenia Sisovitis recently completed a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto under the mentorship of Paul Vermeersch. She is applying to MFA programs in the Fall.

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