Ștefan Manasia, translated by Clara Burghelea
Saturday afternoon. Eros and iodine.
Ductile light, autumn metalwork.
The brides of Iași are artistically shot
among their bridesmaids. Here they are
in front of the white, wooden windows
in the entry of the summer cottage. It is
a known movie, happy families from Russia,
ravishing vacation houses around Moscow,
the bridesmaids hiding their despair,
under glamour and laughter, then a bull of a man
on the balcony, commanding the young people
to take off their clothes and jump in the almost
frozen pool while he continues to drink and torture
them in the posthumous aftermath of Ivan’s
Oprichniks. But the bride and the bridesmaids
of Iași are safe, I tell myself, in this atemporal
sanctuary from Casa Pogor. Safe is the flying
ant that lands on my arm and I send it, blowing,
your way to save you, Irina. Through the Russian
steppe, souls are soiled in ideology and spasm. Here
we are builidng together a sanctuary, a crystal,
a handful of exemplary short stories...