Staff Poetry Feature: "Rome to North Cape" by Aviva Javaherian

Rome to North Cape

by Aviva Javaherian


How many stories does it cost to flee to you?

Enough to change a life, but not enough to raise one.

Should I save my glass jar stash for teas to compliment my pirated truths?

Or maybe I should switch the warmth for ice.

For limoncello,

for schnapps,

for Heineken.

Whatever vice you can serve me.

I’m too scared to go to the bar alone.


How many miles will we go until the car breaks down?

I’m afraid my suitcase will take up too much trunk space.

However, I’ve always been one to want little.

Little coins to buy

little portions to eat in

little spaces.

I’m all for the ceilings yards high and walls meters wide,

but art cannot be without intimacy and

there is a tiny bond between the black box and I.


Will the alleys I come across love me back?

Or are they another tourist trap?

Vines there to creep along me, not the wall and

the English too native to be foriegn.

An expat?

Son of an expat?

The remains of an anglophone bubble?

I cross my fingers and curse the third,

if it is possible to curse a curse.


These stories,

these miles,

these alleys.

They bind my inside pocket and feet,

turn me upside down and shake me.

I’m left on the cobble floor of a semi-familiar street,

too many phonetics surround me.

Hand me an antique cane to stand up,

and then I’ll promise you I’ll carry on.

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