Ava C. Cipri

Ava C. Cipri is a poetry editor for The Deaf Poets Society: An Online Journal of Disability Literature & Art. She holds an MFA from Syracuse University and currently teaches writing at Duquesne University. Ava’s poetry and nonfiction appears or is forthcoming in 2River View, Cimarron, decomP magazinE, The Fem, Rust + Moth, and Uppagus, among others. www.avaccipri.com



The Twelve O’ Clock Nooner


I am amazed at the collective ‘ism’

its cunning ability

to walk in these rooms

through hallways

        over and overpppppppppppppppppppppppp

completely cool.ppppppppppppppppppppppppp


Undone, safely closed down

in these dimly-lit church basements,

the seats circular––these pupils face each other.


K biting her Styrofoam cup, this one spilling his coffee

from two shaking hands blinking

toward the candle’s flame,

                           this one walking inppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp

from the rain with a skinny cigaretteppppppppppppppppppppp

under her leather bomber,

that man rocking his poodle

Penny asleep is Harold,

that man across from you twirling

                     his pocket-watch still has bourbon on his breath.



A Small City Guide on Divorcee Dating


You take my hand as we walk

out my last two weeks in Syracuse.

“Mary Tyler Moore” upon seeing my beret; it would become your mantra

“You’re wearing your Mary Tyler Moore hat,”

ppppppyou’re going make it after all . . .

up to that final parting day.


In the Brewery after my beret “spoke” to you,

I validate your unconscious–layout the timeline.

You take my hand, open it; ask if I read palms.

As you trace the three main lines, I know one is my life . . .

I allow the massage, & the lines that must be like crutches

for you under an onlooker’s gaze.

I push for more . . .

pppppdiscover you write lyrics, your first childhood game,

ppppp& favor chocolate Labradors.


The Armory Square alcove: 1:00a.m. ppppppppppprain

you’ve been here before

& I say so.

It’s kiss, shiver, kiss, wrapped inside your coat until . . . your car or mine?


Yours, I say, would say on too many occasions instead of mine;

justified self-preservation: less complicated.

Everything had its price.


And yours again later, I said in the middle of another adolescence,

those windows’ steaming: your hand pressing the small of my back,

a kiss that began behind the ear . . .


The bachelor pad: 2:30 a.m. Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” 


Name recall: rummaging your mail.


A two bedroom with equipped with the essentials:

iPad, desk/laptop computers              w/surround sound

framed flat-screen TV             ppppppthree halogen lamps                        

prize liquor bottles             ppppppppibeach towels for bath


And there’s a way of being taken pppimakes one forget . . .

To wake & turn ppppppppppppppppitowards its unexpected beauty.


When a night into the next pppisn’t enough.

When each day is sketched out.

you/ there     pppppppppppppppme/ here writing in my city



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