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Simona Carini


Born in Perugia, Italy, a graduate of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan, Italy) and of Mills College (Oakland, CA), Simona Carini writes nonfiction and poetry and has been published in various venues, both in print and online. She lives in Northern California with her husband and works as an academic researcher in Medical Information Science. Her website is

Poppy Blooming

The sun draws a scalpel
along the sepals’ seam
reveals red flesh.
Crumpled petals widen the split
unfolding, unstoppable.

Pale sepals cling to
the past pushed away.
Finally fall — separation
floats bittersweet in the air.

Red petals stretch,
iron their creases.
Stigma blinks in the sun,
stamens sway in the breeze.

The poppy cannot unbloom
fold back, shut the bud.
I cannot unwrite—words
unfold in their own private sun.

Eternal House

As a child I read tombstones
Unknown lives bracketed between two dates,
their arc unknown. Who were they
before death fixed their age?

Now, I read abandoned houses
No dates but broken windows
blinded by rotting boards, creeping ivy.
Doors no longer open
to welcome, or closed to secure.

stenciled on the west wall
of a falling-down house in West Berkeley.
Eternal is not what we build,
but the wind that breaks the glass,
the rain that makes the grass grow
and the roof leak.

Who wrote “eternal” on this house?
The owner who hoped this would be her forever home?

“Exegi monumentum aere perennius”
Horace’s monument more lasting than bronze
Words we still recite and revere
Two thousand years after he wrote

A brushstroke of brown paint
can erase “eternal” from the wall
but the word remains.

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