IT WAS A YEAR OF SAYING GOODBYE…
to Saviana S.
Far behind us lie the facts, the promises, the autumn colours.
Today a morning scent of wet branches
and wet leaves hangs here,
steam rising from the meadows and the asphalt
between the imitation farms
erected in this domain.
Something from here evokes
something from over there.
Petrila, Petrosani, Lupeni, the villages I came to
after we had said goodbye.
It was a year of saying goodbye.
I have remembered what took place.
We looked down from the hotel room
onto the roofs of the town –
skylights like eyes
that had spied on us all night.
I stood beside you at the window,
saw your lips move, but did not hear you.
I had submerged,
breathed, but cared about nothing.
Was it whisky or ‘the ennui of fright’,
as a drunken poet once called it?
What lies behind us, pursues us,
Saviana. Or do I say, Vava?
Do you have a preference for the pet name
I have borrowed from your young cousin?
Do you still recall the smell of fresh-baked bread
that wafted towards us that night in the street?
The baker greeted us, white as a ghost.
You could be take fright like no one else could.
You could not get used to the sound of the sticks
used by the waiters to drive off
the gypsy children from the restaurant.
You hated the whooping of the screwing
on the other side of the curtain
that separated your bed from that of the couple
you rented the room from.
We had much to tell each other, many tales
without prospect. Other people
could have eluded us, others
could have been together.
Vava, I ought to have answered that last letter.
How is your hand doing?
What has happened?
Have you forgotten me?
The day progresses minute by minute. Cumulus clouds drift past.
It is late afternoon and the rain
comes intermittently. Brich leaves quiver in the wind
in the back garden. I listen to the cello concerto
in B minor, opus 104, by Dvorak
and go on wrestling with your questions.