Cynthia Buiza


The mornings are hardest
when he leaves and she inherits a house
draped in silences
and a backyard dappled in California light.

The hours climb her body like a horror
a certain tremor in her limbs, stampede of ants
threatens what she has come to know
as her footing in the world.

She reels the tremors in and surveys the basics:
a broom poised by the kitchen cabinet
dishes stacked and cracked
furniture rigid, menacing.

She assigns a certain resolve to the act
of keeping house, a partitioning of her will
wailing walls of compromise
rituals of patience growing tedious by the day,

as she wakes to the same California morning
over and over again
and disposes the husk of a missing woman
in the storage.

CYNTHIA BUIZA is the Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center. She moved to the United States 15 years ago and is now based in Los Angeles, California. Prior to that, she worked with various international organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Open Society Institute-Burma Education Project in Thailand, and the Jesuit Refugee Service. She earned a Masters in International Affairs from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, with a concentration on human security studies. Her poetry and prose have appeared in various anthologies in the Philippines and the U.S. She is also the co-author of Anywhere But War, about the armed conflict and internal displacement in the Indonesian Province of Aceh.

Author’s note: “This poem explores the idea of spaces within us, and those that contain us. Solitude as both a physical and spiritual place where the divine can roam freely and write poems.”
Other works

Blue Thursday

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