Suburban Matins

Do what seems a trifle:
build a sturdy poem from tiny ache,
the smallest stitch being strongest.
A blessing says the brother in Christ.
A distraction from nirvana says the
dearest Buddhist buddy. A clear case of
neuralgia says the family neurologist
in your book club. A symptom of obvious
anxiety says the mustached stepfather.
Lacking accord, you smile and thank
each kindly, euphemize this little ache
the only certain thing you know for
certain, slick as chess progressions.
Forgive me, you plead, I must pay
the matins’ daily tithe. Honor the
nerve. Consecrate the immediate
throb of a life wherein sweetness
follows the copper penny taste
after sucking my own blood
from a mosquito bite.

Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania, raised in Alabama, and reared by the love-ghost of Tom Waits and Hannah Arendt. Her homeland is a speculative fiction. Currently, she lives in Tuscaloosa with her partner and and three children who don’t believe she was a finalist in the Black Warrior Review’s Poetry Contest or Fiction Southeast Editors’ Prize this year. Her syllables are forthcoming in Tower Journal, Cider Press Review, Lockjaw, PMS poemmemoirstory, and Kindred, among others. More online at

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