At Night the Apples at the Store Know Better

Insomnia so deep you decide to go grocery shopping.
You might as well buy spaghetti than try to force
your sleep. The ghosts who push their carts along the aisles
delight at the sight of grapefruit and start peeling one,
hoping that the smell will wake you up. Remembering
the first time you entered an American store in Colorado
twenty years ago, you take in the aisles of cereals,
the hundred brands of cookies and know that nobody
really cares what that food does to you: they just try
to get you addicted. That’s all they’re after. They strive
to hook you, make you open a box of chocolate mint cookies
and finish it. To get your attention, the ghosts pick up a mango
and start eating it without peeling it first, and all you want
to do is steal some cherries at seven dollars a pound.

Lucia Cherciu is a Professor of English at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and she writes both in English and in Romanian. Her newest book of poetry, Edible Flowers (Main Street Rag, 2015), is available at Her other books of poetry are Lepădarea de Limbă (The Abandonment of Language), Editura Vinea 2009, and Altoiul Râsului (Grafted Laughter), Editura Brumar 2010. Her poetry has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her web page is