Published October 19, 2020

First Place – Wax International Poetry Contest #2

White-night Odes

by Clara Burghelea
(Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania)
Wax International - "White-night Odes" by Clara Burghelea
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White-night Odes

The mothers we carry, the mothers we crave
are everywhere but where we need them.
In the soft soil, the hardy grass, the muscled
force of grief at dawn or maybe is it at night,
when under light sheets, next to the man that
stirs the flesh, tangled and dark, the soul lays
awake. At wee hours, mothers descend into the
sweaty rooms to scold and soothe alike, draped
in the weight of the previous day, unloading
dreams into our veins, pointing to the places
it hurts most, the crooked seams, the radiating
lines, the petty late-night thoughts, the yearning
limbs, in a word, everything that stays unnamed,
yet throbbing. Next, their peeping-toming breath
over our shoulders as we make breakfast or beds,
dust off memories or broth our ways through
the remainder of the week, poems as lungs, charring
our throats, no mouth to spit them out. Mary on
the wall keeps a vigil eye on our daily uncessaries
and we’d rather give ourselves in small-tied bites
to the devil if ligament, sacrum, tendon could rest.

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, HeadStuff, Waxwing, The
Cortland Review
, and elsewhere. Her collection, The Flavor of The Other
was published in 2020 with Dos Madres Press. She is the Translation /
International Poetry Editor of
The Blue Nib.

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Previously published in
Wax International:
"Paean to a Summer Morning" by John Grey.
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