Hollow Bones \\ I Hope This Email Finds You Well \\ Sense Memory \\ Stealing More Time \\ Fading

Hollow Bones

The pigeons on my kitchen windowsill 
rustle the house awake
their fluttering feathers and harmonized cooing
wake me up before my alarm gets a chance

I wonder what it is like
to have bones made for flying.
bones that aren’t made of lead,
that rise above clouds rather than
plummet into comforter oblivion

How much would I do
if moving was easy?

My muscles around my leaden bones are 
cooked spaghetti trying to lift an anvil
I’m moving through molasses,
listening to the birds’ effortless flutter

I’m going to be late for work

I Hope This Email Finds You Well

This is just to say,
per my last email,
that I have repeated the answer
to your question
four times already 

Forgive me

I know it’s hard to understand what I’m saying 
my voice is 
so shrill and
so young.

Sense Memory

When I was a kid

I would notice how my aunt’s house smelled like
floral perfume and vanilla pancakes and freshly baked biscotti

how my Nonna’s house smelled like 
Christmas: pine needles and bubbling tomato sauce and her old couch 

Now, I’m noticing that 
my clothes smell like
vodka-soaked cobblestones
and heavy-handed cheap cologne
and stale cigarettes
so I tried to find something that doesn’t
smell like being afraid

everything I own has
the smell that I thought I had gotten away from

I tried scent boosters and new detergent and bleach
nothing worked
the smell is in my skin

I tried new soap and a loofa and steel wool
nothing worked
the smell is in my blood

My clothes are starting to smell like
something familiar that I can’t place
it’s been following me for days,
making me nauseous, making my chest tight

It’s the smell of
warm spices
and fallen leaves on the forest floor
and freshly changed hospital bedsheets
the smell of losing something I never really had

I can’t remember what Christmas or comfort smell like
I can’t find them
through this cloud of smells I’m trying to forget.

Stealing More Time

I found an old notebook in my desk

last night

it was filled
with left-handed smudges
and words written too fast
and diagrams and arrows and pen scratches and mistakes
from a time when writing was
creating a world, instead of responding to this one
and I wasn’t too tired all the time
and the time didn’t feel like a stolen, too-short rope
and blank pages didn’t feel like 


The fog, a phantom of today’s early-morning rain, is 
out of the forest into the busy street

tendrils snake between zipping cars 
as they move across the cement

the milky clouds that cloak the 
branches and soil and fallen leaves
cold weather breath clouds,
hot shower mirror clouds
over-filled dishwasher glass clouds

less visible the further they 

I can feel them wrap around me,
feathery fingertips:
a phantom of another day’s rain.

Cassandra Cervi

Cassandra Cervi is a marketing strategist in Toronto, having graduated with an Honors Specialization in Creative Writing and a Master of Media from the University of Western Ontario. She serves on the editorial board of Room Magazine and is a volunteer for The Malahat Review. She has been published with eMpower Magazine, Synaerisis Press, The Feminine Collective, The Impressment Gang, Beautiful Losers Magazine and Pip Magazine.