Cynthia Cruz


But, I have not been honest with you,
And how can you love me
if you don’t know me.
Here, things are strange in that
people seem happy. Or,
the people I know: they almost died,
so now their lives are new, they have another one.
How do I say what I need to say in a poem.
I want to make this poem prettier.
If it’s more beautiful, if I am
more beautiful, then
you will love me. But that, too, is a lie.
I’m better than I was, but also,
I am not: I eat normal food
but only in carefully regimented increments.
I want to be thinner, smaller.
Spectral, even. And that’s a death wish,
isn’t it, the death drive.
I have begun documenting
everything for an art project or maybe
something smaller, and darker.
Truth is the antidote
for shame and shame
is what I carry with me

Cynthia Cruz is the author of four collections of poetry, including three with Four Way Books: The Glimmering Room (2012), Wunderkammer (2014), and How the End Begins (2016). Cruz has received fellowships from Yaddo and the Macdowell Colony as well as a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. She has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in writing and an MFA in Art Criticism & Writing from the School of Visual Arts. Cruz is currently pursuing a PhD in German Studies at Rutgers University. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.