Dream of Alexandria

Leave a comment

September 25, 2018 by The Citron Review

by Rogan Kelly


A man and a woman sit at a seaside cafe made of red brick turned grey from the salt air. Blue water bleeds into blue sky. Jagged rock or ruins of Rome all making love to Cleopatra or what little remains. The woman wears a cream dress, the color of Bogart’s dinner jacket, an orange poppy placed in her still dark hair. The man is dressed well, but his clothes are creased. His second day, unpressed linens go well with this old city and the sea. He fumbles with a cigarette he won’t light—puts it to his lips like a broken promise. She is electric in stops and starts like a busy street or a wedding. The man is at ease in her story, allows himself to take her in, the tap, tap of her elegant finger against the white metal table. The cafe bustles with conversational Arabic, and they both anticipate the morning call to prayer. The smell of apple tobacco wafts, and the near distant noise of street merchants sound off with their carts and bells. It has been forever since he has seen her. Only now, he has a need to touch her hand. He loves her, though he does not know what kind of love, or wanting, what kind of want. He does not understand his loss nor what she has returned to him. What is temporary, besides everything? There is a sadness in him like this city, like Russian opera or the way a stray dog wails. She seems unchanged to him after all these years, but that can’t be true.

When she stands, she is an ocean against an ocean.


Rogan Kelly is a writer and educator, including a former D.C. speechwriter and special education teacher. He serves as Associate Publisher with Serving House Books. His poems have recently been featured or are forthcoming in Diode, Edison Literary Review, formercactus, Hobo Camp Review, Mojave River Press & Review, PIVOT and Shrew Literary Zine.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

🍋10th Anniversary

Fall 2019 IssueSeptember 23rd, 2019
5 months to go.

🍋 Instagram

Robert Carr’s “Anchor” is what happens when the tangible aspects of heritage are missing. The speaker is left holding a telephone cord and the remnants of his mother’s voice getting further away. A concise stack of images begin the poem, taking us back to a time when the simplicity of toys meant family. In Carr’s hands, the poem is rooted and rootless at the same time, and now I reflect on the rotary phone, heirlooms from old houses, and my people. -Eric Steineger Managing Editor/Senior #amreading #TheCitronReview #Spring2019Issue #10thanniversary #cheersto10years https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/anchor/
The Center, if it holds, requires the Hole, as if the Spiral were pressed in a vinyl disk. Set the heart of Nothing on the spindle and start the record round; "Record" by James B. Nicola #TheCitronReview #Spring2019 #amreading https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/record/
Marriage! That blessed arrangement! https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/white-wedding/ #amreading #microfiction #weddingstories
Now in our Spring Issue, Helen Chambers invites us to read now of forever hold our peace. https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/spring-wedding/ #amreading #microfiction #weddingstories
Knitters of the world, unite! "Turtles" is a needle-gripping flash from @kaelyhorton . March with us toward passionate prose. (Stitching now our handmade Spring 2019 Issue.) https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/turtles/ #amreading #flashfiction
Tornado of Flash Fiction Warning! https://citronreview.com/2019/03/20/outside-of-oklahoma/ #amreading #Spring2019 #TheCitronReview #cheerstotenyears

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: