Floating boats on the horizon
captured by eagle eyes
hooked by iron wires
shot at by men with guns
from shores that boast
in every footprint
or particle of sweat.

Boats full of homes
pride with peace
dignity desecrated
lack of air and water
flags of hope that flutter…

But in the deep sea
the salt shrinks their lips
and sticks to their wounds
depriving them of fluids
as the sun is laughing
and the sons are crying
in the pouring rain
as the cold ices their brains.

Many are now dead.
Some jumped off, some just slipped
and plenty have been pushed.

But some of them will make it
to whatsoever is promised.
They’ll lie on the concrete
tired, dirty, sad
with air in their guts
and hunger in their mouths.

You still can say a prayer
but of beasts be wary:
they wait with sharp claws
wielding fire guns
yelling in foreign tongues
caging those alive
returning the remnants
burying their consciousness
preserving the ignorance.

Mihaela Melnic, born in Romania, lives and writes in Rome, Italy. She is the author of the poetry collection Layers of Rust and Life (2023, Impspired Press), co-author of the poetry and short fiction book Evermore (2021, 17Numa Press). Her work has been published in various literary venues and anthologies. Links to her publications can be found at her website. Read other articles by Mihaela.