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Ștefan Manasia, translated by Clara Burghelea


First you and your giggles left:

                         who is going to jump on my back?
You called me one morning from Budapest.

                         I imagined you sitting on the little pedestal

next to Koestler’s statue:

                         is it still there these days

when the demented student handles the sponge and the eraser?
The sun no longer crosses over the roof of the summer cottage.
The days are shrinking. The wind is different. I talk to Jan
about Brautigan and his German translator.
The space becomes constrictive. Things, papers are piling up
and they terrorize me: the caiman female is watching
over her offspring in the laguna. They are getting more adventurous
and the anaconda is lurking
under water lilies and hyacinth. A perfect morning,
lubed brain, relaxed muscles,
but the poem comes and devours
the offspring: memories no longer let themselves be told,
traumas no longer recovered from. The fetuses of hazard
make my heart pound even now
when it is likely the hideous teenager
is but a bag of cartilages, epidermis, and bones
under one of the piers of the Thames.

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