Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Three Poems, Clara Burghelea


Against forgetting

Pain will whimper your chest until you know it is there,
formaldehyde dreams will keep you numb and twitching
throughout the thick of the night, waking to half-darkness
only to succumb to the swell of it, the shards of something
you cannot name will scratch the insides of your cheeks
first thing in the morning, rinsing won’t do it, tiny mints
will make you nauseous, instead, let the bitter coat your 
tongue, go down slowly, churn and thread your insides,
know that soft spells will follow, clean lines and half spaces, 
you will catch your breath while buttering bread for the kids,
after having shoeboxed a stray kitten, only to come back
itching with flea bites, dawn’s fingers probing this dazed
house, where every scraped inch knows the lack of you.

Ars Poetica

The sun comes in low, quick shadows spurring,
treetops scraping the view, an out of breath breeze.
Across the park, someone is playing the piano
from memory, scanty jazz notes spilling down 
the windowsills, the clean lines of a fading summer.
A skinny cat leaps up only to snatch the scent of 
a scrumptious sparrow, a pregnant moon in its gaze.
Above, the oozing scar of the sky, the lust of a kiss.

Whatever prowls our dreams

Trapezed along a string of white nights, hard-lunged, single-petaled whispers, moans soaped 
up with music, wine sips and machengo, chiaroscuro shadows that slant the stage, our screens that brew with desire before you philosophize too much, then run your soft tongue along 
the bruised edges, so, when are you coming? the fat palm cuddles the wooden bar counter, 
the pizza oven, flaking metaphors, my smile, we’re made of night sky, a scrawl of arteries 
that feed on the same ink blood, will this taste as good in death as it does in life? Before sunlight pours sparks under your eyelids, the hum of billboards dies out, and the ciabatta delivery man floats in on a whiff, you are snoring in your dungeon, alien head watching, and I stumble back into the gloomy afternoon, across the world, aching from spoils of yet another night. 

Clara Burghelea is a Romanian-born poet with an MFA in Poetry from Adelphi University. Recipient of the Robert Muroff Poetry Award, her poems and translations appeared in Ambit, Waxwing, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. Her collection The Flavor of The Other was published in 2020 with Dos Madres Press.

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