Poetry: Daily, I Cat-Call the Dead by Alina Stefanescu
In “Daily, I Cat-call the Dead,” the speaker interrogates what it is like living as both “acceptable” and “Alien. All. At once.” Through a soulful song of life, the poet’s voice and authority can not be denied or unheard.
Daily, I Cat-Call the Dead
I hoot n’ holler for their best-dressed photos.
I call them out of leather albums. Daily,
I summon the ghosts of all Stef-uh-what-escus,
announcing I am your final romanian, the lesser ass-
imilation, my folds ornamental as pleats on an altered map.
Inflamed by prodigal light, I slide their names through my lips
like whistle-adjacent events. I am not above degradation tactics.
My name is allied to fragments, ellipses…. table scraps,
we can’t escape each other/s grotesque syllabics.
The heart plays both tourist and settler, turtle and tiger,
sunshine and snake. Daily, I beg the dead to rise up
n’ tango over the tips of your guns. I call them to spark
the lost blunts. I want the weight of being claimed
by elders who enunciate my name in love-murmured
shreds. I crave the reprieve of being both-like.
Acceptable. Alien. All at once.
Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her partner and several intense mammals. Recent books include a creative nonfiction chapbook, Ribald (Bull City Press Inch Series, Nov. 2020). Her poetry collection, DOR, won the Wandering Aengus Press Prize and is forthcoming in July 2021. Alina's writing can be found (or is forthcoming) in diverse journals, including Prairie Schooner, North American Review, World Literature Today, Pleiades, FLOCK, Southern Humanities Review, Crab Creek Review, and others. More online at www.alinastefanescuwriter.com.