The more people I meet
the more I think
that heaven must be like
a patchwork quilt
or like homemade soup
with a little bit
of everything in it.

04/20/13 – Emma Dumitra.


“Love is Patient”

If love is patient, what is it to me?
For I’m too weak to wait until it comes.
I need it now, but it does not need me
to feel its presence or to know its sums.
I cannot add it up, so I subtract,
dissect it into bytes I comprehend.
These fragments my own brokenness refract;
my actions just my sanity upend.
I feed into this culture of defeat,
join the addictive cycle as it spins,
detain my fear by fighting for false peace
of mind, but not of heart; thus folly wins.
But love – if patient – grants me quiet space
where structure gives me freedom hell to face.



It’s not like in the movies

Composed of questions, quests

Dramatic bald heads nodding, bobbing, suffering

Projectile vomit and finite deadlines.

It’s quieter, wispier, more uncertain

Like those dirty flakes we once called hair

You finally shaved off slightly.

It’s sore palms and painfully cracked skin

It’s gaining weight when the steroids do you in

It’s quality of life, and it’s chemo

When venom in your veins is better

Than your own cells.

It’s watching you melt like a candle

As the poison slowly fills you intravenously

Feeling the dread and the gorge rising

When I exit like a coward because that’s not really you

It can’t be.

It’s jokes about stool and all the colors and consistencies

We could apply to oil pastels,

But this is not art

And on good days it feels like we’re faking it all

And bad days are hell, but we smile.

When I hear you cough my mind jumps to your funeral

And health class reminds me of the day you will die.

Thera-putrid are those days when your door is closed

And you sleep the hours away, and it’s almost escape

And I’m grateful for how much you hide from me

But even forgetting makes me ache.

Written September 2015, Emma Dumitra.
Photo Credit: Nana Dumitra.

[Such Complicated Things the People Are]

Such complicated things the people are,
such silly notions we about them hold;
as if their only value’s found in gold,
as if by an equation we could chart
or map the minds of men on gilded things,
and trap them in a rhyme or on a wall,
as if, if they had roots could not have wings
or had a wealth of wealth and still not all.
Such complicated things the people are;
and we – disseminated by ourselves.
We know so little, yet have gone to far
to leave the sheaves of knowledge on our shelves.
Presumptuous are we. Is it just I
who cedes to myst’ries underneath the sky?

Written March 2013, Emma Dumitra.
Image from forumbiodiversity.com.

“Mango Memories”


I pick the other world out of my teeth
and send the mango peels to decomposition.
The scent – a golden tropical – lingers,
carrying a million memories in which you don’t exist,
carrying the other world and a kind of melancholy
that is fleeting, like the lingering scent.
A world I almost remember, on the tip of my tongue;
a neuron circuit that has nearly ceased to exist,
almost real – intoxicating – gone!
The peels of mango memories in the garbage can.

Written May 2013, Emma Dumitra.
Image from http://www.thephilippines.com.

“The Unpoem”


I am not a poem.
Oh no.
Most certainly not.

Why would I be
a poem – pray –
if I could be
a song?

Why would I be
a poem – tell –
if poems can
go wrong?

I am not a poem.
Oh no.
Most certainly not.

Who likes poems –
pray tell –
save the poet?

I’d much rather be
a paragraph
which scientists discuss.

Or – perchance –
a book of law
(or just a clause
if I must).

But a poem?
Useless jumble
of words.
And all the poets cheat

The one who wrote me –
periodically – takes
a paragraph and breaks
it into
and calls it

I don’t want to be a poem.
They say it’s an art
full of meaning
and rhyme
and syllable counts,
but really?

Look at me.

They say the readers –
and critics – read
the poem over
and over again,
but do they?

They say that the poem
reveals souls
and secrets,
that it somehow
breaches prose.
But does it?

I don’t want to be a poem.
There is no glory
in broken words,
is there?

What can broken words do –
pray tell –
that whole ones cannot?

Pray tell.

Written February 2013, Emma Dumitra.
Image from www.disabilityartsonline.org.uk.