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romanian poet

I write for ghosts

I write for you, old women
who sit at the gates, spin yarn
and knit socks for the dead.

My every gesture is mirrored
by a thousand hands.

I carry these faces inside me,
on my back,
on my feet.

The ghosts don’t let me sleep.

They gather on windowsills and roofs,
in the moon’s breath,

and chat
with chattering teeth.

I write for my father
who still hangs on in Skype,

to reach him,
fill the gap with words.

Hang on, Daddy, hang on.
Here’s a rope ladder.

Here are the words, Daddy.

Here’s the blood,
the new heart,
the straw.

Scriu pentru stafii

Scriu pentru voi, femei batrane
ce stati la porti, toarceti
si impletiti ciorapi pentru morti.

Fiecare gest mi-e oglindit
de o mie de maini.

Port aceste fete in mine,
pe picioare,
in spate.

Stafiile nu ma lasa sa dorm.

Se strang pe pervazuri si acoperisuri,
in rasuflarea lunii,

si palavragesc
clantanind din dinti.

Scriu pentru tatal meu
ce inca asteapta pe Skype,

sa ajung la el, sa umplu
golul cu cuvinte.

Stai asa, tata, asteapta-ma,
uite scara de franghie.

Uite cuvintele, tata.

Uite sangele
si-o inima noua,

si-un pai
de care sa te agati.

Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. She is the author of Eternity’s Orthography (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and To Part Is to Die a Little (Červená Barva Press). She co-translated The Vanishing Point That Whistles, an Anthology of Contemporary Romanian Poetry (Talisman Publishing, 2011).