Poetry by Cătălina Florina Florescu

Hatching the Death Egg
        In memoriam, to mother

The woman is hatching
a hallow egg:
barely moving
she looks for
a bed
to die.

It’s not the one where she made love.
It’s not her mother’s either.
It’s her daughters’.

She stays there awhile —
hatching is
almost over.

The woman is
a child
until the end.

Portrait in Syllables & Mixed Languages

         “i found god in myself & i loved her

                                          I loved her fiercely –”
                                                Ntozake Shange

Ive never been good at cooking,
& here i am: mixin’ ancestries and languages—
Romanian in itself is an adulterous Romance language
full with words from others
bc they have overstayed their welcome: Romans, Turks, Russians
they came there like a river carries its mud and sorrows
or maybe

I dunno, maybe, bc the country’s compass doesnt turn Romance
left and right
and up and down.
We let travelers, străini, flâneurs

be with us & offered them our proverbial
pâine cu sare.

Which reminds me that I’ve started cookin’ smth,
no idea what!
I move backwards as foolproof mnemonic device:
and I remember that i was cooking

myself, reinventing,
the body does that – the last, desperate shot at fame,

only IDC,
fame is no biggie for me.
I need to make sure that what I do does not ever
erase my birthmark:
it’s not a burden of being white but of being (a) woman
who fights with God and his alleged apple.

But maybe God is a woman who wanted to cook a pie
turned her head for a split second and saw a bite into
a fallen apple.

If woman is a fugitive that’s
bc, like language, she’s never
fully done —

Raw, in Reverse

Playing with a fork on
a barely touched meal
he sighed.

She didn’t say a word–
Took a sip of water.

He tried again
to eat.
“This tastes like shrapnel.”

A war lasts longer after it’s declared
over. She looked for something

underneath the table.
“I need air.”

She put on a diver’s mask.

By the time she was at the door
the whole place disintegrated under water. On second thought,                                                         
A postcard from a distant galaxy.


About the contributor

Cătălina Florina Florescu was born in Romania, graduated "Litere" from University of Bucharest. She earned her PhD in Medical Humanities from Purdue University. She teaches in New York, organizes a theater festival in Jersey City, and travels the world via her fiction, mostly in the dramatic genre. More here: http://www.catalinaflorescu.com/

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