Anthony Cirilo

The Miniaturist
(Paris, 1871)


Enclosed is my winter my hurt my cloud they would have no more of me
if the rebels win and the fighting is pitched in the streets horrific this morning
I saw a woman pull a cannon like a mule les communards are melting
silverware for bullets I think this war will be fought fork over knife and the hungry
will have to eat the sky I forget myself enclosed is a house for Emile you said
he has outgrown your arms he takes no mind to tennis or piano no sport in shooting
game let him have this then I’ve had no paper or ink so I stay awake
a long while remembering the house last spring and my body betrays me its noises


True it was old the garden too meted out too lace cuffed for our taste but what
an air I used a robin’s egg for the door it was not easy the birds let loose
even from the zoo there is talk three soldiers shot an ostrich dead such a ghastly sight
but thrill and behind the blue door the parlor glistens with a chandelier not antler
but chicken bone sharpened to a web the floors you’ll note are lined with fur no small
task a clipping of the maid’s hair on the sly little by little while she sleeps but the war
continues outside there is less and less each day in dreams we are terrible and complete


Anthony Cirilo

Anthony Cirilo is an MFA candidate at Rutgers-Newark where he teaches composition. His poems and reviews have appeared in The Volta, The Oxford Magazine, and The Paris-American. He is currently co-directing Poetry of Witness, a documentary including original interviews with poets from around the world.