When you’re lost under the milky streetlights
of Jan Pieter Heijestraat

& all you can feel is a stranger’s gaze
lingering one second too long,     Amerikaans,

it feels like falling into the varicose veins
of Van Gogh’s blue-tinged body,     succumbing to

The Harvest’s molten fields,
          Starry Night’s angry skies.

There’s something about the movement
of his brushes that is like the movement of the city—

something unforgiving, deafening.
But even Van Gogh couldn’t paint

the ever-present ringing of bells,
clinging to canal boats & their windows

like a stranger’s golden eyes,
more awake than alive.

About the Author

Nooshin Ghanbari is a senior English and Plan II Honors major at the University of Texas at Austin, where she was recently awarded the 2017 Regents’ Outstanding Student Award in Arts and Humanities for excellence in poetry. When she isn’t writing angsty poems, Nooshin can be found singing her heart out in countless choirs on- and off-campus and camping out at the many great coffee shops that Austin has to offer. Her work has previously been published in print and online in the United States, England, and Wales.