I count the days

that pass into dusk,

each one making me a victor

of small favors and ticked-off things.

This sleepless city won’t hold a stranger.

Have I just entered

the fresh middle time of my life

or simply boarded a one-way

off-peak midnight express?

At times, I see my face stuck

on every flickering beat of the night trains.
I peel myself off the window

and take shelter from the night.

Inside my room, mice live

their grammar of prepositions

in modest spaces, tangled like thoughts.

My love, when you ask to see my body again,

I will un(re)cover the forgotten.

You say everything has a breaking point

in its architecture,

but I trust our truths are solid

and willing to wait.


Clara Burghelea is a recipient of the 2018 Robert Muroff Poetry Award. She is Editor at Large of Village of Crickets and got her MFA in Creative Writing from Adelphi University. Her poems, fiction and translations have been published in Full of Crow Press, Ambit Magazine, HeadStuff, Waxwing and elsewhere.