Clara Burghelea is a Scott James and Jerry Cain Creative Writing and Social Media Fellow from Romania. She is Editor at Large of Village of Crickets and an MFA candidate at Adelphi University. Her poems and fiction have been published in Peacock Journal, Full of Crow Press, Quail Bell Magazine, Ambit Magazine, The Write Launch and elsewhere. She lives in New York.
How to lose a self in a few steps
First, you read until pairs of invisible eyes
grow under your skin, eating at the paper-
the slip on which you become someone’s wife,
then the birth certificate
that spells your daughter’s name.
Each time, white birds burst out
of your chest.
The eyes bleed a little,
you have no idea why your skin breaks out.
Branches snap, trees spit out leafy hearts,
easy summers thicken by year.
Here is some rose water to sprinkle
over your thinning sanity.
One day, mother love turns into a wound
the size of a missing breast,
a vicious broth of bone met and brain failure.
The eyes under the skin close one by one,
failing windows of hearable hum.
Bargaining is nursing your baby boy
while dreaming of your mother’s morphine.
Get away from me, come closer,
you say to the man
who knows every here and there in you.
Pain is as pain does. Blind eyes feel
the edges of you that now slip
into unfamiliar geography.
Remember to lose your wedding band,
your true colors, mostly, your liquid mind.
Get a tattoo right above the left wrist:
Make sure I can still slit them without
ruining the pretty letters. The bearded artist
slips his hand between your legs.
Out in the world,
you scatter papers from your desk,
and pulse inside words, books, poems.
You can feel your skin prickling,
surging with ink blood.
The pen voraciously bites at the paper:
I am thinking of you.
One day, you’ll visit your own grave and say: passion did it.