Romanian Voice
Nicolae Sirius
Under empty eyelids

The poem I am here writing
Is stronger than a mountain in the night
Appearing in a bull's corrida: have
No fear. Garb its mane
Ride and tear it asunder, then
eat of it: it is yours.
It begins like a fable. Don't laugh:
It leads off
With the first letters you study.

Once upon a time there was an old pundit.
The man disappeared;
Some say he had been crucified.
Not understanding Noah
He had lost his resolve and his way.

I always see him at dusk in the window
In yours or in mine, at everyone's dusk
He appears, sometimes happy sometimes wretched.

He does not speak of the secret
Of death; of his son murdering him
Or why he was burnt at the stake.
No, it is something deeper.
I have spied his face on the panels of caves
In the first light of morning
And in the darkness of evening again:
Shaped like a spiral, the bell broken
Under vacuous eyelids.
His time was spent, he hated himself.
Enamoured of wine
When I saw him again
He was always somebody else.
At dusk I hear him at the window
Saying words steeped in truth.

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