Denisa Mirena Pişcu


translated from Romanian by Florin Bican





The woman stood ill at ease

and as big as a mountain

her legs stank of urine

and her body, a whole mass of bandage,

seeking balance

towards the people who’d backed off

in disgust,

towards the trolleybus bars

thin and metallic,







Two deaf-mute lovers signalling each other

in a dialogue




not unlike hip rose jelly.






People in their tens waiting diligently

outside the

the American Embassy.


I’m on my way

to the Free Clinic

where the lift’s always static –


            in poor health

                                    are climbing

the stairs.                     






Deep snow

in Predeal

and the passengers

cramming the doors

to get a glimpse of the boy

            who’d had an accident –

his leg torn to shreds,


soundlessly buried in snow

as if in a borderless bandage.







They come visit with me

and search out my house

(my soul

and my mind).

They sit neatly in armchairs,

sip at their Cokes

while I’m showing them one by one

the new items purchased

at Ikea

(recent achievements,

recent failures, too).

Next we discuss the costs of utilities

exchange the odd irony

and they’re off

leaving me all behind








I’m scrubbing my house

after the uninvited guests

with water and soap,

as if I’d been raped.




Last night as I tried to go through my prayers

my boss, rather than God,

kept appearing before me…

Back at the office we’d had

heated debates on various topics.

My boss is a decent sort, though,


long-haired and pot-bellied, 

the substitution therefore was somehow






I can write texts on my lover’s skin,

I can write poems all over his back,

his arms and his legs,

(I can draw if I want to)

It’s just another way of making







The sea beats against the shore

with rippling black wavelets,

packed solid with shells –

it’s the fishermen’s shore

and their sea is called “brine”.





I’m afraid of the sea,

of her mouth,

gaping wide,

of her treacherous mouths

pretending to kiss the soles of your feet

in humility,

yet ready to bite…


The sea’s constantly slobbering

over our feet.