Jul 15 2017


How I love the hospital

Gift shop—pocketing the penny


Candy and ghosting the dusty aisles

The other dead have.


Remembering when

I was locked in the Starver’s Ward


With the other almost-girls.

How I miss that summer


When there was no world.

Smoking endless cigarettes


On the fenced-in roof.

A teenage slumber party,


The days had no beginning or end

And was one seamless dream.


As the months piled up

To nothing.


Rain when I woke

Sounded like horses.


A little musical surgery

Right now, just might kill off


This warm narcotic of nostalgia, this wish

For a sweet smear


Death. Like the train I took

Through Paris on my honeymoon


In a silvering storm,

This room becomes a kind of


Wake, a milk-bashed reverie.

It’s true: my little sister is trying to die


With me. It’s true: the world ran out

And the jewel they put inside us.


What with the small massacres of childhood

Followed by the decades of hospitals.


Like a teenage car wreck,

No survivors, just God,


Breathing on the last moments

Of the child, living.


This, then, is the weather

At the end.

Cynthia Cruz is the author of four collections of poems: Ruin, The Glimmering Room, Wunderkammer and How the End Begins. Her fifth collection, Dregs, is forthcoming in 2018. In 2018, a collection of essays on silence and marginalization and an anthology of Latina poetry will also be published.

A PhD candidate in the German Department at Rutgers New Brunswick, she teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Essay on VIDA entitled “Where We go From Here, “Political Poetry and Marginalization,” by Cynthia is an articulate indictment on our current politosphere, and a vital read.

Featured image: Stewart Ferebee Photography

“Chronic” first appeared in the 2012 issue of Ping-Pong Journal of Art and Literature

Jul 1 2017

Skyscrapers and the dead.
Breath is exhaust fumes and dirt.

I am sloth-like through deciduous maples.
Rain rivulets straight and black like daddy’s

belt, children yell in the street.
Mirrors in the gutters.

An old boyfriend’s memory kicks me,
follows me into the alley.

His kiss, an ending, I should have fucked him,
then told his memory to go away,

instead I say, “let’s find my mother’s lost breasts,
let’s staple them back where they belong.”

© Maria Garcia Teutsch

Photo Credit: Francesca Woodman