The Strings of Demi-Gods

Clara Burghelea

Photo Credit: Ali Devine/Flickr (CC-by-nc)

In Rm. Valcea, Romania,
the myth about the womanly rib

My father scolds me for raising
a daughter who shaves her nape,
my grandmothers tell me to be good
every time I travel.
That husband of yours is a treasure.
My brother lights a candle
for my wandering heart
every Sunday, then puts on
his acting hat, rehearsing for hours.
My son tells me I need to ask
for permission because every house
has a man, every realm has a king.
I kiss his long lashes
and promise him a world
of no rules.
An aunt comes for coffee
and whispers she knows
the spell of binding.
I have already given myself.
To another?
I wish I could tell her
that words own me more
than love, in a greedy, ruthless
way, as no man ever
began to understand.
The flesh has learned to bear
the massive burden of the heart,
the blankets of domestic life
and the strings of demi-gods.

In Rm. Valcea, Romania,
I am a woman of my own ribs,
all 12 pairs made of word bones.


Clara Burghelea is a Scott James and Jerry Cain Creative Writing and Social Media Fellow from Romania. She is Editor at Large of Village of Crickets and an MFA candidate at Adelphi University. Her poems and fiction have been published in Peacock Journal, Full of Crow Press, Quail Bell Magazine, Ambit Magazine, The Write Launch and elsewhere. She lives in New York. Email: fay_witty[at]

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