Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Fragment: After Ida

Cynthia Cruz

In the black and white Polish film
in which the beautiful local
plays the nun. In Warsaw,
she meets her aunt, once powerful,
now alcoholic, who directs her to her
true past. I am struggling with understanding
unsure which past is mine.
In the film in the scene
where the actress wears her dead
aunt’s dresses and heels
after the aunt has killed herself.
I am inside that moment,
the split in the seam
in which almost anything can happen.
When she drinks the liquor
the world falls opens,
as when she hears the music
playing rooms away.
I don’t know what future
or past, or whose film role
I should step into.
I only know the body is not
what I thought. And the mind
is just a dumb machine
that makes small traces.
In the film in the scene in which
the actress returns to the convent
and the camera pulls away.
There is a rip, a mar,
an error that occurs,
but only off screen.
That break, that space
between, is the moment
when it all begins.