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Romana Iorga

RomanaOriginally from Chisinau, Moldova, Romana Iorga lives in Switzerland. She is the author of two poetry collections in Romanian, Poem of Arrival and Simple Hearing. Her work in English has appeared or is forthcoming in Harpur Palate, Stoneboat, The Normal School, Cagibi, Washington Square Review, PANK, and others, as well as on her poetry blog at


The storm hit the house—a car
at 70 miles per hour.

I saw the tree in front rush
toward the window
whip it repeatedly:
mad lover, angry husband.

Leaves clung to the glass,
branches scraped the paint

off the windowsill—
the terrifying gesture
of a drowning man,
when someone else

watches in fascination.
Next morning, the porch

was a massacre scene,
waiting for us to sift
through mounds
of debris and lopped limbs,

to identify, label, and mourn
each find, have it join

its respective body in funeral.
The impatiens pot
was neatly split in two,
a clean cut by a samurai sword.

It had lost all its blooms,
surviving the impact

with stem unharmed.
Down the street,
the old oak
had fallen onto a minivan,

the roof buckling gently
under the burden, but not

giving in. It could have been
ours, the minivan,
or that gentle buckle
in front of the storm.

Midnight Jasmine

I blame myself.
The years that keep going by,
the countries between us,
the many hands
that have touched you since,
the many lips.
You, who were so new.

They say you love what you’ve lost.
My loss is a desert of books,
furniture, people.
And you.

How could I have known
I’d miss you? It’s easy to leave
someone behind.

There have been others. Numerous
and forgettable.
I left them, too.

Remember that winter night
in the kitchen, hot
jasmine tea poured
slowly, a dreamlike draught,
my clumsy hands
warming your porcelain skin?

Or was it the other way around?
Were you the one holding
my gaze, the spoon
stirring endlessly and in vain,
our promises rising
like steam
as we began to forget them?

Where are you now? Who has you?
Is it too late to say
I want you back? Is it so wrong
to picture you lonely,

at the back of some dusty
waiting for me?
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