tagNon-Erotic PoetryA Line in Romanian

A Line in Romanian


Okay guys, Fair Warning: What follows is esoteric… Needlessly serious and no where near any of the other things I’ve posted.

Now for something completely different…
This is the other side of my writing. I thought you’d all get a kick out of it. I go from novel length erotic fiction to literary poet in one swing.

I’m really proud of this one and there’s a true story behind it, so bare with me… Tee Hee
I was in a writing club in college and the girl running the club came in and wrote a single line on the white board. “Patru La Ressedere” or something like that. I don’t remember how to spell it or anything. Anyway she wrote the line and then told us all to write something to go with it. She didn’t care what, just something. Short story, poem, whatever. Half the class was high anyway.

So I did. I wrote this poem. Then we went around the room reading out loud whatever it was that we wrote. There were tons of different things that people had come up with. When it got to my turn the girl running the meeting asked if I could read Romainian (that’s what the sentence was written in). Nope not a word. So she told me that she thought it was incredibly weird that I’d written what I did. She asked if I was psychic. Nope. That’s when she told me that the line she wrote on the board was Romanian and it said “4 goodbyes.” So knowing that, you may find the poem a bit more cool. But I think it stands on its own pretty well…
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I lift the letter left for me upon the dresser in our room.
reduced to slight interpretation,
words on the page, reflecting
black and white, gray.
Nothing of the true intent is read.
The words lack
emotion which if spoken swells and breaks
as waves on storming seas,
before drowning in the cliché.
Spoken word that holds the gasp
of hesitation
or apology.
That glance that comes from eyes focused
conveying feeling thick enough to pass between
two separate bodies.
Missing from a wrinkled sheet
lined with scratched out words
that may have meant more than what was left.
Reduced to guesswork
of what could have been last breath,
first sigh.
Searching for the comma or question mark that only
in a voice can be read.
It becomes more than just another language,
even if written in English,
explanation dropped among the clothes on our floor.
I move the tattered jeans I meant to repair
and lift a splintered frame from wooden panels.
Did it fall from the loosened nail
that you said you’d replace
or did a touch strategically mounted
send it to the floor
tear the picture from the frame
and leave it there
where I step upon glass
and bloody the picture
smearing red across the faded faces?
There are no tears upon the shattered glass
and the couple in the picture seem as strangers.
The flash that captured these two,
left in the airport
where the man in top hat and coat sold
the small dictionaries we used
to twine their tongue and our together.
The bed, unmade, lifts clothing I was to wash
holds them in its arms as though in sweet remembrance.
Cradles the shirts that mingle with the underwear
that so many times before lay strewn across ad beneath
its warped frame, your frame and mine.
You had said that too would be fixed.
Here in the light of the lamp that I changed the bulb in
just yesterday,
you said that it was dark
you couldn’t find yourself for lack of light.
I read the single sentence that was written
and rewritten
in your scrawl that’s so familiar.
You are not in your words
and I was never good at finding
hidden meaning.

I hold the letter next to the picture
examining the text and illustration as though
they were meant to be together.
The phone rings and rings and rings
and the caller hangs up.
Again I read the letter.
But you forgot to leave the translation
and too with you the only dictionary.

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