Two Poems by Loriana Kolb

by: Loriana Kolb

These two poems by Loriana Kolb offer the reader a fierce engagement with the way the real observation of place (the coast of England) and imagined observation of history (a war god’s ritual) return us to ourselves and our own dissatisfactions, desires, and dreams: “Rain and two twin beds/ and making the best of it.”

red ink in water


If there was white
I didn’t see it;
only soot-grey painted wet and
greasy ports, coarse streets
stinking of beer spilt for fists
and the infective frying of
fish, nerves, expectation.

Rain and two twin beds
and making the best of it
stamping on soggy leaves,
laying found paths for something
that could be called pretty.
But it felt cold and sinister
even when we moved together.

We turned our backs to
chalky guards and
dripped into the water.
Gazing past beaten ships, broken
docks, we spoke of booze and salt.
We spoke in coulds.
We looked for France.


Hands are the
color of battle:
something like veins
pushed through the
taut skin of fists;
something like Mars.

But this counting off
feels more like selling
than fighting.
Tell me what you’d give
for the boiling blood,
for that extra moon.
It’s a mercenary’s
trade, hawking
fingers for frills.

We were warriors
once. Once
we were reapers, too.

Loriana Kolb studied creative writing at NYU and earned her master’s in education from The University of Oxford. Currently, she lives in Brooklyn, works for a living, and writes as often as she can, attempting to understand the big and small of it.

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