PF detail from Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Beach Scene, Guernsey (Children by the Sea in Guernsey) - 1883;


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Last updated:
May 2009


Lauren Cerruto is a poet and professional medical writer residing in New Jersey. She studied poetry with Gregory Orr, Rita Dove, and Debra Nystrom at the University of Virginia, and has since participated in workshops and readings in northern New Jersey. Her poems have been published in Margie: The American Journal of Poetry, the Journal of NJ Poets, the Paterson Literary Review, and have been posted in some online forums including Poets Online.

Her Reply | My Ex


Her Reply

He slipped her a poem
full of secret wishes, lush and delicate
as a mango wrapped in a silk scarf.
She folded it so as not to lose a word,
tucked it into her dresser drawer
beneath her black stockings.
Late at night, loneliness and longing
fierce as the metal of a gun,
she dreams of it there,
its face pressed to the nylon.


My Ex

Mine and not mine.
The prefix negates the possessive, cancels
us like a stamp on an envelope.
It suspends before and after, renders
us inert, lifeless like a taxidermic
squirrel. This paradoxical
phrase says we existed:
a word in a first draft,
stricken out—not gone.

From the Rodin Museum,  Paris