Roxana Cazan

The Village of Missing Pronouns

In the village of missing pronouns,
the body shudders from so much emptiness.

The house remains upright like a relic
from the Mesozoic, looms large

but no longer impressive. The house
belongs to the dead, greased with thick past.

Doors open and close to fill the void,
and the stones along roads are strung out

on heavy air, the lack of pronouns,
the absence of relationships.

What’s mine, yours, theirs, anyway, ours has long vanished,
untethered like a loose balloon,

a buoyant design, stroking, scratching the sky.
You look paper thin like bones,

the slope of teeth threatens the face with bite-rage.
There’s a salt fish plate left on the steps,

the key turned in the lock,
and when the lights flicker off,
even the night carries a knife.

You pass through the village at dawn,
almost dead,
boulders trickling down the slopes of hills.

This is no longer yours,
the earth’s unfolded bedsheet.

Author Portrait

Roxana Cazan works as an Assistant Professor of English and world literature at Saint Francis University (SFU) in Pennsylvania. She was born and raised in Romania. She received her graduate degrees in the U.S., specifically, her MFA in poetry from Indiana University in Bloomington, under the supervision of Ross Gay, Maurice Manning, and Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Her poetry most recently appeared in Sojourn, The Portland Review, The Chattahoochee Review, The Pennsylvania Literary Journal, and Peeking Cat Anthology. Her first book, titled The Accident of Birth, is forthcoming with Main Street Rag.