Translated by Adam J. Sorkin and the poet
eats before your eyes
and she’s clueless
sleeps beside you
night after night and she
has terrifying nightmares
that she tells you about
with puffy eyes
over morning coffee
and it’s she whom you love
you’ve no choice
her thighs squeeze your neck
while you whisper to her:
5 people were killed
15 were injured
including medical staff
and I was walking silently from the train station towards the village
on a winter’s night with snow as high as a house
holding under my tongue a tiny diamond
that glittered like the moon glittered on the hill of the military camp
then I knew that everything you have to lose
and the darkness I remember
at the big dining room table(from re.volver)
for more emptiness
the noise others make
that it can no longer hurt you
the screech of the chair over the marble floor
coming from the apartment above
the rustle of the seed sprouting through concrete
the sound of your voice in your dream
more alive than you knew
you’ll always find yourself
like an embrace
as a sacrifice
I see my poetry as a puzzle piece, trying to complete this big picture that our society is. Autobiographic at the beginning, drowned in intimate details about my childhood and youth spent in my hometown (Giurgiu), my work is now starting to become more and more serious related to the global picture, since I feel increasingly attracted to exploring the conflicts that shaped and continue to shape our history. My empathy drags me into the most terrible, dark moments in our past and present days. Because this is what I’ve started to do: investigative poetry, narrative poetic journalism, in my quest to find a way to let the victims of history tell their stories in a few words. It’s like a duty I have to fulfill. To try to stand, with words, against oblivion. To remember and respect. To show those who don’t know the violence and the pain this world has been subjected to. We made all this happen. And we are still doing it.
Livia Ştefan was born on October 17, 1982, in Giurgiu, Romania. Her poems and photographs have appeared in various magazines. Her first poetry book, re.volver (Bucharest: Casa de pariuri literare), appeared in 2012. She currently lives in Bucharest. Her personal blog is https://revolverspoem.wordpress.com/.
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