Rumpus Original Poetry: Three Poems by Andrés Cerpa






The room walked away

the way a wolf gets its sea legs

in a shipping container.

Everything not had

then had

& more often. The prescription pad

did a dance. In the alley –

womblike, summer’s

5am blue. Within the cage

of each willow, the distance

sounds like music.

There is always somewhere

to hide.



the inexplicable whole

_______the it without antecedent

_______the fog that forms like a father disintegrating in a purple chair

who am I without my clothes & friends

_______my linens

snow on the ocean unseen

_______on the coldest day of this November

we made a day of it


laid there for hours as our mice crept into the stove



on the station platform a snap of wind followed by my reflection

______those riders riding through me

as if I were a ghost or had wings

______& their reflections on the opposite plexi-glass pane

which is both tunnel-wall & mirror


______I have seen them in restaurant windows as I pass alone


______palm of light

in my one life

______I have stood above the labyrinth

& touched what is not there


Photograph of Andrés Cerpa by Alice Plati.

Andrés Cerpa is the author of Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy, forthcoming from Alice James Books (January 2019). A recipient of fellowships from the McDowell Colony and Canto Mundo, his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poem-a-Day, The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, West Branch, Foundry Journal, Wildness, + elsewhere. He is the Assistant Poetry Editor of Epiphany Magazine. More from this author →