Ion Mircea


Sibiu in Fog




Incomparable, this cedar oil.

One drop

enlarges an image 400 times.

As if you banished the blue of sky and suddenly you saw,

deathly still in all their splendor,

the pieces of the microscope.

Colonies of mice

invading the cellars,

the robots’ biographies, underground churches,

crows and blue flies devouring dirigibles,

transparent magnets attracting an old clearing

to the circumference of the sphere where it is kept,

on a winter night, among the royal cedars,

the formula of water, The Wild Strawberries

or Africa weeping like a glass of tar

drifting among icebergs.

In a thousand ways

one could read from the sky

that steaming swatch of skin.

Not a breathing thing anywhere nearby:

a village annihilated by the visitation of a tiger.


                                                                        translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Liliana Ursu


Sibiu in Fog



Too much in the light for the first part of my life,

my body has become a film more and more faded, invisible,

and the fog is nibbling away at its edges.

In the Goldsmiths’ Market there is fog.

I climb the Fingerling Steps shrouded in fog,

and up there, on the top of the Fingerling Steps, still in fog,

a Wallachian dance from the sixteenth century

with little bells chiming in the fog.


I continue in front of a watch-repair shop,

it is getting dark early again

and there is fog,

the light inside turns the window

into the window of a monstrous clock, made of thread,

a face beyond it stares at the passers-by

between the hands of the clock, through the fog.


Now all this has just fallen away

and the night is more and more softly eddying about me,

I squeeze together all these passages incurved toward the center

and in such focus, as if from another life,

this very landscape newly varnished with fog,

as if through an ancient magnifying lens comes back to life.



                                                                        translated by Adam J. Sorkin and Liliana Ursu



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