You Have To Return If You Want A Story, a poem by Clara Burghelea at
Karolina Grabowska

You Have To Return If You Want A Story

You Have To Return If You Want A Story

written by: Clara Burghelea


My love is in the next room
sleeping next to another man.
I keep covering my heart and
uncovering it. She tells me

she likes to stare at her naked
body in the mirror thinking
of her dead mother. It feels
like betrayal to see her chest

move, little veins throbbing
behind the alabaster skin.
Late at night, she runs her
sharp nails across the forearm,

a poisonous girl with scales
and a tail to prove, mouth
reeking of celandine. The thing
about her is that she does not

know this is a love poem
in reverse, rabbit-holing
the slices of her I got over
the years, from scraped knees

to sticky hugs, taming pollen
every spring while I kept
untangling green from eyes
that could lock horizon in

a place. First date, I brought
my folded red heart, some
thing about edginess slipped
her lips before tearing the paper.

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