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That old covered bridge over the cahaba


The old covered bridge
everyone says you must see
is made of wood and the
dreams of astonished beer cans.
The bridge is old and covered
and eighteen feet long which is
the distance between sleepwalking
and marauding. I know marauding,
its limits and tendons, from
the friend who is a maverick
who moonlights as cirrus
who collects civil wars and tin soldiers
who left a jar of peanut butter
on the bridge before
moving to Texas
to marry a duck pond
named after herself.
I want to be maverick
or a bridge you will sit
in a car to stare at
without crossing.
I want to be seen from a distance
so close that tadpoles
could swim it. I want a tadpole
to be ample enough.


Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her partner and several intense mammals. Her writing can be found in diverse journals, including Prairie Schooner, North American Review, FLOCK, Southern Humanities Review, Crab Creek Review, Virga, Whale Road Review, and others. She serves as Poetry Editor for Pidgeonholes, Poetry Editor for Random Sample Review, Poetry Reviewer for Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Co-Director of PEN America's Birmingham Chapter. She was nominated for 5 Pushcart Prizes by various journals in 2019. A finalist for the 2019 Kurt Brown AWP Prize, Alina won the 2019 River Heron Poetry Prize. She still can't believe (or deserve) any of this. More online at

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