Jul 15 2017

Poet Republik-Cynthia Cruz

CHRONIC

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

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