Ruth Madievsky


Originally from Moldova, Ruth Madievsky is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist living in Los Angeles. Her debut novel, All-Night Pharmacy, is forthcoming from Catapult in 2023. Her debut poetry collection, Emergency Brake (Tavern Books, 2016), was the winner of the Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series. Emergency Brake is one of Small Press Distribution's top 40 bestselling books in any genre of the last several years and has spent five months on their Poetry Bestsellers list. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Tin House, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Guernica, Literary Hub, Poem-A-Day, ZYZZYVA, The Iowa Review, Jewish Currents, and elsewhere. She was the winner of The American Poetry Review's Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize, TheIowa Review's Tim McGinnis Award for fiction, and a Tin House scholarship in poetry. She is a founding member of the Cheburashka Collective, a community of women and nonbinary writers whose identity has been shaped by immigration from the Soviet Union to the United States. When she is not writing, she works as an HIV and primary care pharmacist. Source

Everyone I Love is Drafting Their Own Eulogies

in parking lots, in bedrooms,  

in supermarkets between the ground beef 

and the egg noodles. Let's try that again:

so much comes down to a body

handcuffing itself to its ghost. 

I want to tell you about the time 

the past was an earring 

under the bed. How I lived 

in the space between touching

and not touching, how I wanted 

everyone I love 

to wear me like a hat. Now I'm the darkness

a city bus moves through, 

but not always, not when I pass someone

walking more than three dogs, 

not when everyone I love

is working full-time as my lungs. 

In Los Angeles, someone's replaced

all the oxygen with surgical grade stainless steel,  

someone's tagged all the freeway overpasses

and I can't tell if they wrote HELEN

or HELP. Everyone I love is trying 

to shine me like a flashlight, 

everyone I love is telling me 

to say ahh. In my backyard, forty ants

are sharing a slice of watermelon, 

and I don't know why that makes me feel

lonely, why I wish I was their size 

and with them, fighting for the juiciest piece

with everyone I love

or just letting them have it.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:


Doubt & Fear


Love & Relationships

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences

Bleeding Title

when the title of a poem acts as the first line


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”