Anastasis She died at night I mourned her three days, then I lay beside her patiently waiting for her to resurrect. I was told that someone among us, who was a saint, rose from the dead on the third day and then ascended into heaven. She was a saint too, I thought, and while I was waiting, I had a heavy heart and I feared that instead of staying she too would ascend into heaven. Blue Monday There is a life in which you take me by the hand up to the front door and you wait for me to come out to go and live hastily, intensely, as if we knew that destiny will rip off the roots of the flowers that grow entwined inside our souls (what are the souls?) to weave wreaths and lay them on tombs. There is a life, the same life, in which you write for me all the words that I miss, in which you compose all the songs that contain me, in which you paint all the paintings that shelter me, hastily, intensely, as if you knew that destiny collects words, sounds, colours, and then it scatters them on tombs. A life in which you are rain that compacts the grey until it makes sense, in which I walk next to you while I’m digging my tomb, in a ubiquitous, in a permanent act, which repeats itself with the certainty that there is another life which only lasts one day. We live it, those of us who were born ready to bear the pain, alone, dragging it behind us until the end of the day, where it ceases. It wouldn’t make any sense to say that it is a very sad life, not because it wouldn’t be poetic, but because it wouldn’t say anything at all about the way we’re set on fire, about the way we burn quietly to turn into ash at the end of the day. And there wouldn’t be any witnesses either, except at dawn, the sun on our restless feet, on the hands with their incandescent wholes, and the shy, crepuscular blink of our eyelids, (at the end of the day) when death lurks and asks if poems really make sense. Because it is not yours You don’t know how to end this poem because it is not yours. It came to you one day full of silent, weary, absent poppies. It perched on your eyes - absent minded butterfly - and it dazzled you, but you felt its wings quivering, bewildered, far away. Today its fluttering wings light up your blindness. It speaks to you in a strange language made of infinite silence like a green wheat field fast asleep in the sun. It confesses there are young dead who can still smell the humid earth, dead who feel the touch of an embrace in the grass, bitter-sweet happiness that throbs beneath the skin of oblivion, the last and sacred desires of innocents lost in one of many wars, or an atavistic hunger that seeps down into roots together with the smell of freshly-made bread. It also confesses there are old dead who cannot smell or remember the scents, dead who have turned into matter descending towards the center of the earth where the life we have been reduces itself to a tiny dot that contains everything. You don’t know how to end this poem because it is not yours. It is the poem of all those who lived life and death voluptuously, of those who know that the tomb is the only mirror that always gives back the same face. A poem that climbs up from the bowels of the earth, retraces its steps and its time, perches on your eyes —ephemeral, dazzling butterfly, and desperately asks you to continue it. (The poems belong to the book The thousand and one deaths, translated into English by Bruce Weigl and Corina Oproae The book was originally written in Spanish and published in 2016 at La Garúa Publishing House, Barcelona, Spain)
CORINA OPROAE (Făgăraş, Romania, 1973) From 1998 she has been living in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. She writes in Spanish and Catalan, translates from Romanian and English into Catalan and Spanish. She has translated many Romanian writers such as Marin Sorescu, Ana Blandiana, Lucian Blaga, Pic Adrian, Norman Manea, Gellu Naum, Dinu Flamand, Ioan Es. Pop. From English, she has translated the book Red Bird, by American poet Mary Oliver. Her first poetry book is Mil y una muertes [A thousand and one death] (2016), which was translated by the poet herself into Romanian in 2018. Her second poetry book is Intermitencias [Intermittencies] (2018). Temprana eternidad [Early eternity] (2019) is a personal anthology published in Colombia. An anthology with the same title, Tidig evighet (Simon Editor, 2020) has been recently published in Swedish. Her third poetry book, Desde dónde amar [Where to love from] is currently under print. In Catalan she has written La mà que tremola [The hand that trembles] (2020).