Nothing was quite the same
after you died.
I left the city for the woods,
where the trees
held my gaze without judgment,
where the birds dared not
speak your name.
In a ravine, I found a skein of water,
a limpid eye,
who saw me as I was, alone.
It was the only thing that could return
what I had lost.
Love is a terrifying truth.
Love hurts to say it.
Those times you asked
and I was silent? This is why.
I was afraid of drowning in your
body your eyes your mouth your hair your
No one could own me, but me.
Remember when we left
our tunics on the shore and plunged
into that bruised Aegean blue?
How young we were.
How strong your arms carving the waves,
how sweet your lips, how dark
inside that cave
where we almost drowned.
We laughed, trying to keep our heads
above the frantic tide.
I was with you
and you were infinite:
inside the cave and out, in the tide,
filling that sky we carried back to shore,
bruised blue upon bruised blue—
and I, a floundering man.
A mere man who outlived you all,
that day, that sky,
that cave, that tide,
I bend over an incandescent eye.
I drown my tears in Aegean blue.
Originally from Chisinau, Moldova, Romana Iorga lives in Switzerland. She is the author of two poetry collections in Romanian. Her work in English has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals, including Poet Lore, New England Review, Salamander, Gulf Coast, BOAAT, as well as on her poetry blog at clayandbranches.com.