Three Poems


Adela Toplean








I have set fire to myself.

Now my enemies will never find me. And neither my god.

At last, I am safe from all failure.








Still life with hair and naked neck, 

the rest of her is wrapped in linens.

The task looks finished.

Someone loved her,

but it got late and had to leave.

Now all in her is fully sleeping,

all of the stuff beneath her skin –

a subaquatic jellied wasteland.


And a demobbed deserted room

without a noise, or throbs, or flushes.

the shape of her’s too long and lungless.


Where is the music and the ears that heard it?







This fire is out,

the ashes still warm.

The heat is still good,

and memories strong,

but everything about this fire ended 

in an inconclusive manner.


Some saw him living and cried out:

his life was unimaginable,

Heart filled with void –


And oh so rigid bones

stuffed with purpose and stones!

His mind, the cleanest mess,

His fire, fireless!


The worst will come,

he says.

The Beast is alive

and I don’t know how

to build a new fire to survive

(nor did I ever build one before...)


A hoarse breathing at my door

The Beast learned that there are odds

I stole from people, not from gods.









Adela Toplean is a writer, painter and lecturer at the Faculty of Letters, University of Bucharest (Romania).  She has published two books on death and has two more thanatological works in preparation.  She also has a novel under construction and a bunch of novellas under her desk.  Adela Toplean is online at



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