Alissa Valles is the author of the poetry collection Orphan Fire and the editor of Herbert’s Collected Poems and Collected Prose 1948–1998.
 (June 2013)


From An Unwritten Theory of Dreams

The torturers sleep soundly their dreams are rosy
good-natured genocides—foreign and home-grown
already forgiven by brief human memory
a gentle breeze turns the pages of family albums
the windows of the house open to August the shade of an apple-tree in bloom

The End

And from now on I won’t be there in any group picture (proud proof of my death in the world’s book reviews) when someone says look see—that’s Zbyszek—pointing to a man struggling with a suitcase—it isn’t me no it’s someone who’s not even in the same …