Monica Cure

Monica Cure

back

next

the poet

Monica Cure is a Romanian-American poet and writer, translator, and speaker. She is a two-time Fulbright grantee and the author of Picturing the Postcard: A New Media Crisis at the Turn of the Century (University of Minnesota Press). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Plume, Rust + Moth, Black Bough Poetry, Little Stone, and elsewhere. She is currently based in Bucharest and leads collective dialogues for various organizations and groups.

the poems

Cochilia, Black Sea

00:00 / 01:44

            I believe I don’t love you

            for a moment as I lie

            with my eyes closed

            on the warm sand, exhausted

            by you leaving me

            to find my way

            to the beach alone,

            and the steady rhythm of waves

            is interrupted,

            as if, at best, the sea

            has stepped away for

            a second, an eternity,

            or vanished, taking

            everything but me –


            grains of sand slip

            faster, faster, and the next

            wave, just as before,

            crashes, breaking

            infinite shells into shore.

Romanian Lessons

00:00 / 01:44

            Godmother country,

            you offer me the gift of

            suffering. Your history

            teaches me my enemy’s enemy

            can still be my enemy

            and world wars come

            in matrushka dolls.

            Your rickety tram cars

            scribble, sometimes

            the distance between stops

            is centuries.

            Friends leave, dragging

            entire generations.

            For these, you provide

            folk remedies.

            Gather linden flowers

            in spring, without fail,

            for winter tea.

            Cabbage nourishes and

            stops swelling – wrap it

            around your calves.

            What’s in your hand never lies.

            Buy what you need

            when you find it.

            Accept also

            the bottle of plum brandy

            made by a neighbor.

True North

00:00 / 01:44

            After our fights,

            I would wake up

            in Canada. It was

            still our bedroom.

            At the corner café,

            the barista still spoke

            English. But I couldn’t

            recognize the faces

            on the money, everything

            a little colder,

            more contemplative,

            isolated, and I had

            made you up.

Publishing credits

Cochilia, Black Sea: exclusive first publication by iamb

Romanian Lessons: Plume (Issue 110)

True North: Little Stone Journal (Issue 2)