Tonight, I’m sending you the sand between my breasts, the rain from my pillow, and the darkness between my thighs in a perfumed envelope that will tremble in the mailman’s hand. I’m stuffing it with thousands of verses written by entwined dragonflies, and the romance novel of the clouds kissing shamelessly. When you’ll receive it, you’ll know what to do: hop on the next plane, wild goose, or thunderbolt, love, ‘cause I’m wilting here waiting for you.
The bells had wooden tongues, and so did the people. For the officials’ visit, they replaced the live ducks on the pond with decoys. The air was full of sawdust pigeons, and the rivers, of driftwood fish. Everyone spoke a wooden language. We wore the words on a string around our necks. Love was a small carved cross, and sadness, a wooden spoon.
The old lady sits by the fire roasting a small animal skewered on a stick. They say she eats children, but that can’t be true. Eat, she says, and hands me a piece of meat with tiny bones. It could be a frog’s leg, or a young chicken’s.
It’s the peace dove, she explains, when I hesitate. Don’t worry, no one will miss it. It tastes delicious.
Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. Her poems and translations have appeared in New Letters, 5 a.m., Meridian, Word Riot, Apple Valley Review, and many others. A four-time Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, she is the author of Angels & Beasts (Phoenicia Publishing, Canada, 2012), The System (Cold Hub Press, New Zealand, 2012), and A Dirt Road Hangs from the Sky (8th House Publishing, Canada, 2013). More at cserea.tumblr.com/