Victor Pambuccian


Mary’s Well at Nazareth by Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka


A day comes
like so many
others before
with no sign
from you.
The sun did
make its round
the sky was blue
a humming silence
was in the air.
I was waiting
for you
as if you
ever stopped by
tired of imagining,
longing to finally see.


There used to be
a well in the courtyard.
It’s dry now.
A tree has died
for lack of rain.
It’s as if
nothing comes together
Eyes, hands,
drops of rain and the earth.


No side feels the pain.
It’s the in-between
that suffers:
the absent ring of a chain
the missing touch
the tears of reunion
that cannot flow
the inveterately postponed kiss
that keeps the lips apart
the would have been
that never was.


About the writer:
Victor Pambuccian is a professor of mathematics at Arizona State University. His poetry translations, from Romanian, French, and German, have appeared in Words Without Borders, Two Lines, International Poetry Review, Pleiades, and Black Sun Lit. A bilingual anthology of Romanian avant-garde poetry, with his translations, for which he received a 2017 NEA Translation grant, was published in 2018 as Something is still present and isn’t, of what’s gone. Aracne editrice. Rome. He was the guest editor of the Fall 2011 issue of International Poetry Review.

Image: Mary’s Well at Nazareth by Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka (1853-1919). Oil on canvas. No size specified. 1908. Public domain.