Three Poems by Alexandra Sharabianlou

Alexandra Sharabianlou

Alexandra Sharabianlou

Alexandra Sharabianlou is the assistant editor and web manager of The Edinburgh Review. She has received a Masters with Distinction from the University of Edinburgh for Creative Writing. Sharabianlou has won Colombia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold in free verse poetry, the Lucy Pope Wheeler Prize, and an honorable mention for the Miroslav Holub Science Poetry Prize and has been published in various magazines and journals. She currently resides in Edinburgh, Scotland but calls San Francisco, California home. 

In summer heat the electricity quits,
so you strike a match, let the ember lip
at the candle wick.
You can’t think of a good reason
to be awake, but you are.
There’s always wine.
At the open window,
the curtains billow over the sink.
The kitchen flickers resplendent
then black—the salt glitters,
the olive oil throws
green shadows on the tile,
your silhouette’s threads woven
and unwoven.
You’re losing track
of shadow and limb,
both move when you tell them to.
The room holds only
your body’s sounds,
the candle casts your skin
in quick gilt.
You always forget which drawer
you keep the bottle opener in.
Your fingers search
but find a knifepoint.
You pull back your hand—
a ruddy gold wells at your fingertip,
then a pearl where light isn’t, both
are yours.
In the night you are blooming,
and brinkless.




Summer has simmered me in liquor and sun,
every hour poured slow and golden.
I wanted August to linger
like the perfume a pillow keeps,
a chemical memory
of getting carried away.
Between my fingers, the linen is just too thin
and autumn’s breath is heavy on my neck.
Now the air tastes like matches mid-strike,
atoms at the verge of sudden,
wonderful disruption
and my lungs are filling with it.
My voice flares like a ribbon
of singeing colors.
I’m scorching the sidewalk into September,
my face as bright as flint.




Before we put the fence around the pool
It’s what I didn’t hear,
while my knees were deep
in garden soil
that told me where you had gone—
the busy lilting chatter
between girl and doll
suddenly absent.
I turned, saw your Barbie
floating alone
and out of reach, bubbles
in a steady upward drip
I dropped the spade, leapt—
                                      purple octopi smile
                                      stretched in cotton
                                      over your plump baby belly,
                                      around amazed
                                      liquid irises
                                      air dews your lashes,
                                      your mouth a pink bud,
                                      ghost blonde hair
                                      an unspooled halo,
                                      your warm body content
                                      in the chemical blue
                                      and you do not sink