Cynthia Cruz

The Birthday Ceremony
January 10, 2013 Cruz Cynthia

The Birthday Ceremony


Seventeen rooms of long maroon

Tables, of endless


Raspberry cream cake,

Cheap California


Champagne, and stacks of magazines and childhood



On the pale pink plush.

White as milk, and cold


As the hand of God,

That locked empire


With its slumber of ghosts, its dead

Engines. The uncanny


Always comes back. What white darkness: pearls,

Porcelain, and medicine.


The mansion of childhood

Is shattering.


A sentinel, I stand at the entrance

To the burning fortress.

Cynthia Cruz is the author of seven collection of poems. Back to the Woods, her eighth, is forthcoming in 2023 as is a novella, Steady Diet of Nothing. Disquieting: Essays on Silence, a collection of critical essays exploring the concept of silence as a form of resistance, was published by Book*hug in 2019 and The Melancholia of Class: A Manifesto for the Working Class, an examination of Freudian melancholia and the working class, was published by Repeater Books in 2021.