Cynthia Cruz



The boat of death moves soundlessly
Across the room.

Then the terrible gift:

The white veils lowering
Slowly before me.

A lifetime inside the killing,
And sweet

Darkness, she
Loved me so much: kissing

The glimmering
Hive of my mind, finally quiet.


I go out. I come back.

I am practicing my words, again:
A bouquet of wilting flowers.

Feigning English, barely

American in my waistcoat and fur
Thunder boots.

Swoon, I say
And the swallows fall from their elm,

I said I wished I were
Drowned. But this time
Not just in dream.

The clock clicks, I sleep on.

I swim past the breakers—a radio
Song unfurling in my head.

Daddy, will I ever see you again.


You are beautiful in snow
Boots, your long hair, black
Electric, and chasing

Karen Carpenter’s Superstar
On the short wave radio.

What was I
For five years
And why

Let me drown in a dream
Of turning, snow
Globe in a child’s hand.

You waited five years
In a basement in the Cleveland
Suburbs before the same white

Wall, all sound and light
Snuffed out. Just a faint
Hum inside the infinite
CYNTHIA CRUZ‘s poems have been published in the New Yorker, Paris Review, Boston Review, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review and others. Her first collection of poems, RUIN, was published by Alice James Books and her second collection, The Glimmering Room, was published by Four Way Books in the fall of 2012. She has received fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony as well as a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. Her third collection of poems, Wunderkammer, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2014. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Read more by Cynthia Cruz:

Poem in The New Yorker
Poem in Guernica
Poem in The Boston Review