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Ileana Negrea, translated by Roxana Cazan

Perfect Recall

1. Numbers

I was 15 or 16 and I remember
the Scandinavian red chair from the ‘70s,
the ‘90s book with a picture drawn by a woman,
the purple flowers and the book’s shiny covers,
my mother in 1959,
the 20 square meters of room
where we sat together


2. Words

Agueweeds have medicinal properties
to cheat is to betray one’s trust
my mother moved into my room
I was excused from school
we ate stuffed animals together
Irinuca was taking classes
sometimes we ran into my father in the house
I didn’t care what this camaraderie meant 

I thought we were still friends.


3. Feelings

Sitting on my bed, my mother is laughing to tears
the book is slipping through her arms and sliding down her body
I’m sitting in the red chair
stuffing my mouth with cookies
my dirty fingers
her belly laugh
our happiness


4. Time

Some years passed,

then the 40 days of mourning
screens covered by white sheets
the black cloth hung above the door
washed by rain bleached by sun
the priest reading something from Matthew
he should have been reading Cella Serghi

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