LIDIA VIANU

Portrait by VIC (Cristina Ioana Vianu)

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LIDIA VIANU

from the volume of poems 1,2,3, Integral, Bucharest, 1997

 

The Danger Isnít Within

 

I havenít gone to the sea since Chernobyl Iíd forgotten bare feet in the sand

our inner radioactivity canít be read on our faces the beach glistens like clay

we leave long frozen trails of footprints behind us the waves break short of us not touching

autumn is on the way itís nightfall come to the seawall I shake you I speak out loud

itís like a film of judgment day will you ever forgive the way I left

you never left youíve always been ahead of me and I followed dutifully

I didnít catch up itís my fault the seaís so black no donít look

donít display your indifference sunset today same old sunrise tomorrow

we put on our shoes the seawall is deserted the wind howls over the water the waves mount

our fingers tangle together youíre bored your eyes clutch crab claws

your water bearer hands toss away the daylight

we shiver as we enter the hotel we scoured the beach you thought of the Villa Nobel

I make us hot tea chilled to the bone we talk about parents

our mothers have so much in common you tell me so do we I tell myself

itís cold in the unheated room night falls slowly how nice to be under the covers

you lie down beside me a pair of predatory felines with ravenous eyes

who bites first what prey would we favor this autumn feels heavy the horizon sinks

under the blanket hot tea in my hands I study you arranging your thoughts

you yawn stretch hold me unexpectedly where now is your urge to leave

each new day you stay here is the wrenching halt of another night

I encircle your ribs with my arms let hidden Eves wait their turn

no more than you and me thoughts sunder us your unknowable cheeks wet with tears

what have I not seen where have I failed I kiss your eyes throbbing like two hearts

our nights taste so sharply of nevermore letís shed our lives until dawn

moods departures decisions silences non-returns the dividing wall grows between

you grasp me in your soul you stop me then you whisper The danger isnít within

  

                                             translated by

                                             Adam J. Sorkin with the poet