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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Good Face; I Turn the Five of Ice Over; This Is Just to Tell You How at 3am

By: Andreea Ceplinschi

Good Face

in Facebook sunsets it’s not the you or I

who drink themselves yellow,

behind clever quips on the state of the nation

first-born sons don’t go to prison for class B felonies,

inspirational poetry screenshots

filter out debt collector calls and shower sobs with Paw Patrol on full volume in the other

room, the toddler doesn’t know, covered in mashed carrot for a candid shot:

“they grow so quick” heart emoji

and landlords don’t sell to second homeowners

Ke$$ha songs

stranger validation

no blade touching thigh skin, no breath-softening pill

a meme – everything’s fine,

and the you or I never kill themselves

on Instagram.

I Turn the Five of Ice Over

and my tongue tastes rotten

lilac buds bursting

to find one please, one thing beautiful

but I don’t know enough

to come in out of the rain

go to bed alone

to the ghost sounds of you watching TV one wall away

in your hotel room in your new home in a different state

thick night breathing wet thighs pressed against your window

the sieve of my mouth open for thunder clouds

tongue at the cuts in my cheeks

rotten wounds the color of spring you taught me to welcome

the gift of being steppingstone

Can I release these lilac buds into your ear against the wall?

Can you hear them screaming, bursting open?

This Is Just to Tell You How at 3am

rock bottom turns weapon

I pick it up and check a thumb with it whack!

thumb splits open to eleven years old again

under mother’s shadow, white elephant with her green eyes

staring me down as the meningitis spiked a fever in a naked hospital bed

where 80,000 screaming fluorescent lumens held the door open

for the sterile room to whoosh past my ears

sore with the swollen flame of spinal fluid her hallucinated paper face

– half-mother, half-animal –

watching me vomit amniotic bile over rusted bed rails,

jerked spasms panning me a full view

of an empty folding chair where seconds before I’d willed an elephant guard

into holding my hand

33 days watching that chair empty into the corner of my eye

She’s not going to make it the doctor said, the nurses said, and I heard, and mother heard,

and she walked away, and I didn’t believe in God, but prayed, awake for 33 nights,

that she was only away mourning and would be back at daybreak

at 3am rock bottom turns projectile dropping over and over

and over every bed I ever lay in afraid to sleep

under the shadow of the white elephant

eleven years old

digging up unexploded shells as children do whack!

I split open


Andreea Ceplinschi is a Romanian-American writer, currently living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Her poetry and creative nonfiction has been featured online in Passengers Journal, La Piccioletta Barca, Into the Void, Prometheus Dreaming and in print in the 2019 Prometheus Unbound finalist issue.

"I’m still rather new to writing and have little formal education in the art of it, compared to a lot of other emerging poets, so I don’t have any clever insight regarding my method. What I can say is that it’s helped me process past trauma and recover from major crisis moments in my recent life. In a sense, these poems are compulsive confessions in an attempt to somehow feel seen and less alone. And as much as these are deeply personal works, processing divorce, parental abandonment and suicidal ideation, I do insist that the reader remain aware of the difference between the writer and the speaker of these poems. So if you, reader, find yourself empathizing with the speaker, find a feeling that breaks you and you recognize, or something you connect with to glue some broken pieces back together, it’s you the poems are for."


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