Cold Comfort

Ava C. Cipri

Flash Back

I can't stand my life
for a moment
which ticks back,
to the transparent agony—
like waiting for the development
of film, standing in the darkroom
of my childhood heart, for the solution
to stir up an image, conjure a family
who sits around a table.

I let this evening settle into stars, throw it
back to God. Wanting to wake up
again, fix my memory to a breakfast;
this time—a mother pouring maple syrup
over three-tier blueberry-pancakes
and a father packing lunch
with the jeweled liquor bottles gagged
in the bottom cabinet.

The waking is hardest,
to remit yourself to a day
you must walk against, emerge
again into what the night couldn't heal,
an angel didn't save you from, so you pull
your weight back into the world.

Not Fit for Sleep


This is the picture of sleep, at least the one I imagine
would have been if my mother took it. 

(small smile   sucking thumb   loose hair) backdrop of blue pillow.

My mother couldn't understand the importance; why, at the age of seven
I wanted to capture my sleep, wanted a pictorial map of my body’s unconsciousness.

She said, I didn’t want to wake you.


Mornings, my hair in tangles . . .

Reoccurring dream: sometimes abominable snowman, sometimes
abominable swampman; either way he is the thing that chases me down.


I record what I remember: an arm, the cold floor boards, & a dish of sand.

Then turn to my day to help my body forget—
take out the mouth-guard before massaging the jaw’s pressure points,
unfurl my brow & stretch toward another some(thing).

about the author


12.3 (Spring 2008)   The 2River View AuthorsPoemsPDFArchives2River