Cristina Silaghi


say thank you

you don’t quite belong
or adapt
hesitate for the stranger who came in
close the door take a seat
give up your shoes let your hair be combed
roll truth in a corner
pass the salt and pepper hide that mirror well
does it work correctly if the echoes are gone
if the suppliers are dead
if all that’s left is the stranger
yawning in the background
tuck in your regrets
you have been fed located and safely stored
it’s midnight the shows have begun press play
watch the diagram lovingly expanding
everything is possible
swallow say thank you
begin defragmenting

you may sneeze if he says it’s all right



attach or keep original receipt
repeat a trouble-free wish to the customers
start counting
as the sparrows take over
who shall miss you what a wave please fasten your seatbelts
you are now shielded from your whites and golds and silvers
it’s a safe place press recall
peel off the uniform turn twenty-five
the card you lost has been reissued
buy a new ticket
dive focus and wait
and you know that the map will begin to look different
that you can access this service anytime
but there are no instructions left
no conversation traveling anywhere
no additional dialing
press program now
just a cloud song passing



Cristina Silaghi was born in Bucharest, Romania, where she taught and wrote before relocating to Christchurch, New Zealand in 1999. She is currently completing her postgraduate studies in painting at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, teaching drawing at Design and Arts College of New Zealand, and writing poetry when no one’s at home. ‘say thank you’ and ‘original’ have emerged from a two-metre square space where pamphlets, advertisements and operating instructions pile up, bringing a sense of order and safety to the world, and then taking it all away.