***

The bones of the dog I loved first

feel crunchy sweet in my dreams, as we run along the riverfront
of Ostroveni, long ears flapping eagerly, wind tying knots in
the thick fur, salivating the flavors of the soft-footed summer,
always trying to become invisible though being 14 is all about
being seen, the edges always blurred, later, child asleep, shoulder
drooling, I dream of origami boxes, fold-by-fold unfolding, until
I find you curled up in my right aorta, me in your left ventricle,
no membrane wall in between, you should bring Rita and Rex,
the shepherds, along, our trio of dog love, the stars love us most
when we vortex vast wants, this past has its winding frequencies,
the static of time white hissing, so many quiet sores in one pocket
of skin, the mouth of a god is always closed, slumber or vigil,

I would feed it metaphor nectar and my poems’ flesh to keep your
body from sinking alone, does it matter I lack any marrow of faith?

***

Aperture

The world, as something wild, the sawing of its breath
pinching the skin, sun assailing every surface, tree lush
scratching the view, balls of light, peeling skin off like
lychees. That invincible summer, and we, weightless,
the ripe plumpness of love, mouth and hands, eyes, cells,
standing agape. It kept us there inside where we always
wanted to stay. Now we need to make wings out of scars.

***

Distance is nearness

It is always the one sock sprawling in the drawer,
the one pillow slouching in bed, the one chipped
China cup, the one earring on the dusty top shell.
The unwashed tongue of loss runs over every inch
of this house, days you won’t eat or dress, a different
hunger taking up space in each crevice of the body.
Fear is a mouth, at times wearing desire on a finger,
then spitting out of the skin, its succulence, lavish.
Undress for me, will you? chimes the wind late at
night. There is an exclamation mark in my mouth,
waiting to pop. Outside, steam rising from the ground.

***

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, Waxwing, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. Her collection The Flavor of The Other was published in 2020 with Dos Madres Press. She is the Review Editor of Ezra, An Online Journal of Translation.