“alteration” and “Spring Inspection” by Romana Iorga


don’t look                                                                        at my fingers          
         bluish                                                            purple                   twitching
       i grow leaves                                           from the bulbs
              of my fingers                                              sometimes
                     in the middle                                                of a conversation
                the terrible                                                         itching
                      comes                                           the cracking
                              of skin                                                            the bitter
                                          sap               oozing                    through the crack

              no wonder                  i’m losing                my friends

                     those          who stick around               think I’m weird
                though                 everything                in the background     blooms
                   they want         to plant me                       in a pot
               but haven’t             found one                   large enough
                  for my                           constantly               branching         body  

                         they should hurry                          i’m simmering
                                                              with sap

                              what a picture                                  we make
                                         my fragrant                       tendrils
                                               sweeping                across
                                           their faces                    embracing
                                                         their            dead

Spring Inspection

She lies on the couch, legs crossed,
eyes staring into the ceiling. A day comes
when she’ll have to do something: go out
and shuffle through the snow, fall
on the ground, stand up and run,

smell the bushes for a sign of spring
or dog urine, break twigs between her fingers.
She could watch squirrels chase
one another up and down some tree.
Or she could wait and see.

The ceiling is low today. Clouds drift
through the window, grackles pick daintily
the last berries from frozen vines.
She can forgive winter

for its long oddity, its tired body
of a shrunken old woman. Vines spring
through her couch. A day comes when she must
do something, or simply lie there and bloom.

Author Bio: Originally 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 The American Journal of Poetry, HCE Review, PANK, Eclectica Magazine, Saltfront, and others, as well as on her poetry blog at clayandbranches.com.

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