Irina Costache // IF YOU WANT TO BE LOVED

Do not let the voices command you.

Your brainchildren,

your judgements,


let them starve

until you can only memorize

and regurgitate.


Give in to fear.

Writing in 4/4 time,

rinsing the bristles,

rearranging colors;

your time is dwindling,

he is right.

Live vicariously.


Pitch yourself into the sea.

Undo your braids,

unclasp your necklace

unlace your tattered sneakers.

replace your personhood

with a storefront mannequin.


Stop trying to find

“yourself”. Clasp your lips

with pins. Pursue your father’s passion.

Seek validation. Nod yes

until you give yourself



If you seek to be loved,


Leave nothing to criticize.


The principles of dissatisfaction.