Cynthia Cruz was born in Germany and raised in Northern California. She holds degrees from Mills College (B.A.) and Sarah Lawrence College (M.F.A.). Her first book, Ruin, was published by Alice James Books in 2006. Her poems have appeared in Paris Review, Boston Review, GRAND STREET, AGNI, Chelsea, Pleiades, the New Orleans Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Black Warrior Review and others, and are anthologized in Isn't it Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger Poets and The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries. She is the recipient of several residencies to Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. She lives in New York City.

Alice James Books

Two Poems by Cynthia Cruz


A California of snow and the surprise
Of illness. I throned myself in the white
Noise of its silence and watched as the world
Fell away. All the silver flickerings of possibility
Going out like the sound of horse hooves
Clicking into the distance. It is almost
The end.
Anesthesia of medicine and me,
Beneath its warm bell of milk. My girlhood was
Microscopic: a locked window overlooking the
Sea. An atlas of the disaster: an un-lit hall and
A shift in the waves of the field. Blue bedside
Porcelain. Michelle, my little sister, silent as
A weed. I took all the things I loved and
Smashed them one by one.

The Report on Horses II

Then I was back at the old house, my brother
Still alive.

The two of us racing through the yellow sagebrush,
Dust rising from the earth like motherís

Drunk words, spies in the hallway.
Shadows in the orchard.

Billyís hand in mine, leading me into the wood.
A boyís, beginning, as if for the first time, Come on,

He said, Letís find something still alive
Left to kill.