Romana Iorga

Out of Eden

Blumenfeld by Egon Schiele

1. Eve
What is the meaning
                  of this love
.          loaded with words?
Doesn’t he know
.                              his rib
cannot hold me?
Close nearby, my first
.                    spring splits
.          open, leaves
bursting out.          Such plain,
.                    aimless brains.
Nothing is easy,
.          not even this air,
.                              rolling in
and out, a boulder
.          caught in the windpipe.

2. The Apple
The days are shorter now.
.                    While God slept,
.          the roots
have outgrown their trees.
.                    Angels don’t soar
.          with the same
mild ecstasy.

                  What do I know
.          about these angels
who pretend to be
.                    human?
Their faces elongated into beaks.
.          Their wings
.                    flapping like black
.                    I know
nothing about angels,
.                              too little
about humans, unless
.          I am one of them.
.                    Am I?
Who’s to say?

3. Sin
Awakening to a world
.                    that doesn’t care
if I’m alive. The tree
.          covers itself with leaves.
I walk underneath
.                    bare, unsheltered—
a bone
.          bereft of its flesh.
The duties of living
.          are calling: small
.                    orchid mouths.
Forgive them their hunger.
                            My body
blooms like a promise
.                    from the red sod
of this garden.

4. Flight
He held the sword
.          against the void
of my mouth,
.                    defiant words
dropping like arrows.
        Trapped in the bow,
my fear of tenderness.

The air felt heavy,
.          chilled on my chest,
a wounded bird
.                    ensconced
in its coffin.

.          Tomorrow, the light
.          may be kinder.

It’s strange how things
.                    turn out: one day,
I’m sitting alone
.          on a windowsill,
ninth floor, a high-rise building
.                    somewhere
in eastern Europe; the next,

.                              I’m flying

over the ocean
.                    toward my new
        life with all its
new anxieties:
.                    who was I kidding
when I convinced myself
.          I could leave them behind?

.          Tomorrow, the light
.          may be kinder.

The day I left, my family
.          crammed in the car,
unwilling to let go.
.                    Seven of us
.          in a small car,
bags and suitcases
.          piled up to our chins.
.                   I didn’t feel
I was leaving.
.          It was funny.
.                    I felt guilty
for not being able to suffer.

.          Tomorrow, the light


About the writer:
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 Harpur Palate, Stoneboat, The Normal School, Cagibi, Washington Square Review, PANK, and others.

Image: Blumenfeld by Egon Schiele (1890-1918).  Unknown medium (Copied from an art book). Size not specified. Date not specified. Public domain.