Saharan Criminology

By A. Molotkov

I’m trying to reach a small city hidden by the sand dunes. Sand, are you one or many? City, are you made of sand? Dusty hut, only one window is open, and on the floor, a smaller dune blown in by the wind. You still breathe, sand on your tongue, your white robes gray from sand. In the basket resting in the doorframe’s shadow hides the diamond. My eyes burn from the sand. The knife, the hand, imprinted in memory. I should not have been here. In the bag of sandy shadows, an empty flask. A path outside, red dawn. Diamond, was it worth it? Sand, what’s your last wish?

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A. Molotkov

A. Molotkov / About Author

Born in Russia, A. Molotkov moved to the US in 1990 and switched to writing in English in 1993. His poetry collection, The Catalog of Broken Things, is just out from Airlie Press. Published by Kenyon, Iowa, Cincinnati, Massachusetts, Atlanta, Bennington, Tampa, Raleigh, New Orleans and Cider Press Reviews, Pif, Volt, Ruminate, 2 River, Sequestrum and many more, Molotkov is winner of various fiction and poetry contests and a 2015 Oregon Literary Fellowship. His translation of a Chekhov story was included by Knopf in their Everyman Series. He co-edits The Inflectionist Review. Please visit him at

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