Clara Burghelea, Poetry

Clara Burghelea

7th St, Garden City, Starbucks

Jeans and turtleneck, then lick cappuccino froth off a

plastic lid. Watch the slick man by the door, cigarette

hanging from pouting lips. Bask in the indulgence of

a warm pretzel. Milk teeth clouds and a glitter sun

glued to his hair. Mulch moist to instruct the senses.

At the back of your mind, a poem ready to stain the page.

Between the silent dahlias and hushed dust mote words,

the day, as éventail plisse. Here we are, awake and awed.





I haven’t thought about my mother in months


just me, these days in every window’s reflection,

same hair, different way of wearing the face.

My mother’s, thick with febrile caution. Mine,

falling into itself, a millipede kind of movement.

For a long time, pain lived in the zippered pocket

of my purse, ruffling its silver scales. Every time

an alone spell came to an end, her image would

fall and accumulate without notice, a residue

of grief, and those flakes of skin hardened even

more, until my brains cratered and I would sleep

for days, numb dawns on a string, vacant flesh.

Among the living, I stride with others, lumpy fish.





A tincture for wounds


Four months and counting, in a freefall, clocking time between

teeth. Silences fat with longing, while August feverishly unfolds

its gifts, from bursting fruit to evenings swathed in violet. This

summer pilfers our open hearts, while we gaze into old maps

where and what countries we could have held into the eyes and

mouths. The Greek sky running out under our twitching eyelids.

The saltiness of the Thassos mornings burning a hole into our

wanting tongues, children shriek into the turquoise waters, you

and I holding breath, the way one listens to something that is

always ending. The ghost of foreign voices surfacing each morning,

smell taunted by ripening flavors, body following the slow mechanics

of the swindling island, allowing us to inhabit a sheer layer of its


abundance, while swiftly satiating our cravings with more promise

of the days to come. Instead, flaky edges of our backyard thinning days.


Return to WordCity Monthly’s October 2020 issue…

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, HeadStuff, Waxwing, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. Her collection The Flavor of The Other was published in 2020 with Dos Madres Press. She is the Translation/International Poetry Editor of The Blue Nib.

4 thoughts on “WordCity Monthly – October 2020, Issue #2, poetry by Clara Burghelea

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.