Three Poems from Maša Torbica

Anni Mirabiles

Gnawed women warned me: love is something spiteful
spat at us by the stars. Lust, a spit we tie ourselves to
turning    grinning    crisping    for a brief feast.

Wide-eyed, I watched people slice into each other daily,
sharpening, serrating utterances with nonchalant malice,
then bearing down, sawing away until hilt hits gristle.

No one could steer me toward worldly survival. Hopeful,
I grew increasingly guileless. Fasted, guarded my flesh, side-
stepped overlapping traps to reach an earned deliverance.


the weevil of my good years.

Everything prayed for    granted    harvested    shared
with a man who softly claims that suffering sanctifies
souls, so his every cruelty is a canorous benison.



There’s a trick I’m learning to do
with my innards, my innermost thoughts.

Hurtwork. Transcendental aftermath.
Beholden to the bad gifts, unspooling

hours and hours of regret to extract
new meaning from prior delusions.

Rearranging the equations,
inventing consolatory algebras.


Amid the infinite regress
of mourning our sin-
uous movements,
I look up to see
the sky filling
with swarms
of smoke plumes.


Starling murmurations.
synchronicity, where
each shift is called
a critical transition.


The sudden arrival
of unbidden salvation.

A symphony of maggots
cleaning out celestial wounds,

removing the necrotic layers
pinning down all of our

unanswered prayers.


Escape Velocity

Infinitesimal approximations
of disenchantment. Desire

commanding the senses
to seek out false hopes,

set up new snares.


Wincing my way to the day of rupture.

Every tether, fetter irrevocably severed
by a barrage of salvific callousness.

Your obscenities as obsequies
for past tenderness.


Recurring taunts of tetelestai, tetelestai
from a receding crowd of failed
prophets, tainted saints.

Waking, I check again.
It holds true.

The exit wound has turned
into a compass,
an amulet.



Image: The Fruit Grower’s Guide. Public domain.