“To Pain”, “Bosom Story” and “I Hear You’ve Settled In”

In Poetry Issue Six by Anastasia Cojocaru

To Pain

To Pain

Welcome. I should have probably said this the first time I met you. But then I didn’t know it was you. You were bloody and I was just a kid crawling around the house.
Time passed and I learned that you come in many forms and that you leaving me is just an illusion. Who would I be without you, you heartless bastard? You’ve contorted my face in so many unimaginable ways. You can’t leave me now, can you? You’re part of me. Your every form is now imprinted in my body that fools itself about being able to forget. I want my body and mind all to myself, you thief!
Today I’m looking at my naked body in the mirror. I see scars all over. The ones inside hurt the most. I lost count of them that morning when I woke up crying. Damn you!
Sometimes I open my mouth wanting to scream. I just can’t. It must be funny for you then, isn’t it? When I mutely scream, I’m the walking wounded. We’re together in our solitary world: just me bleeding and you weighing me down. The two of us know that this time there is no actual blood. This time it’s all inside.
We might reach the centre of the Earth one day, don’t you think? Me in the front, you right on my back.


Bosom Story

Mommy can’t read stories to me anymore. My little brother is here now. I told everyone that I was going to have a little brother or sister and I was kissing my mommy’s humongous belly every night before going to bed.
He cries a lot. I don’t understand how something so small can make so much noise. Did I cry so much when I was a baby girl? I need to ask mommy. Mommy is always busy around the house now. She rarely sits down. My little brother always needs something to be done for him.
Yesterday mommy sent me to the pharmacy to buy a breast milk pump. I’ve never seen one before. The picture on the box made it look like a balloon attached to the mouth of a glass bottle cut in half.
Today she’s sitting down, pumping breast milk for my little brother and reading a story to me from the Grimm’s Fairy Tales.


I hear you’ve settled in

Why won’t you answer when I’m asking ‘how are you’? I miss you, you know. All I did these past couple of days was listening to Parov Stelar, your favourite band. I feel you closer when I get to listen to ‘The Fog’. I’ve been obsessed with that song lately, darling. You wouldn’t know how many things you left me…your animal print scarf, The God of small things, the giraffe you found in a Kinder egg and used to put on your desk during high school classes, the way you put make-up on, the times you caressed me when I broke in tears in front of you, and the way your hazelnut hair fell on one of your shoulders when you bent down to pick up our bin bag. Then you would spring up and walk to the kitchen door. That door which was supposed to fit in a slant frame following the general pattern of the wavy floors in our flat. It never did.
Did I ever tell you how much I wanted to kiss you sometimes?
But how could I when I had to wake up every morning, rising up from the same bed you did, and smile to your sleepy face while saying ‘morning’. I sometimes miss you pushing me with your legs in your sleep and me pushing you back. And sleeping back to back. It makes me smile now that I think of it but it felt reassuring. You were there and everything was going to be fine.
During some nights, my hands would search the side of your bed but you weren’t there. You came late from work and even if the rain caught you on your way back, you would go to sleep without showering. Hearing the shower always wakes me up.
Did I tell you how attached I was to you? I even told you, yes.
‘I love you’, I said once. You put this mesmerized look on your face and opened your eyes widely. Gorgeous eyes, green and almond eyes. I will never forget, darling. I even liked looking at you when you had them closed and you were sleeping all curled up in baby pose on the tiny couch in our kitchen. I wanted to stroke your hair but I gave up on my feelings and silently put the book I was reading to the side and watched you. I liked watching you when you were asleep, when you had no expression on, when you didn’t show any feelings. Your face was blank and you looked innocent.
I wish I’d dared to love you the way I felt.

About the Author

Anastasia Cojocaru

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Anastasia Cojocaru is a recent graduate of The University of Aberdeen (2016) in English and International Relations. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Policy at Sciences Po Paris. She is a queer woman of Romanian heritage. Her poetry and prose are inspired by her memories growing up in post-communist Romania, the time she spent abroad, her travels around Europe, and her experiences as a person of her background in Anglophonic and Francophone countries. She writes about moments that she has been affected by in a way that helps her process and understand what she feels. She also loves practising yoga, blogging (at livinteresting.wordpress.com), cycling, and dancing tango.