I rang the doorbell at the top floor apartment
Come in, she gestures from the mirror as she combs her long gray hair. She closes the door behind me, and I walk carefully through smoke, through raining bombs across the living room devoured by flames.
Shhhh, the old woman says, placing a bony finger over her lips. Take a seat. Peel an apple. Write a poem if you wish, but don’t say a word, no matter what you see. Shhhh, mankind is sleeping.
Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet who emigrated to the United States in 1995. Her poems and translations have appeared in 5 a.m., Meridian, Word Riot, Blood Orange Review, and many others. She was nominated twice for the 2011 Pushcart Prize and for 2011 Best of the Net. She is the author of To Part Is to Die a Little, Angels & Beasts, and A Dirt Road Hangs from the Sky.