Monica Cure

Monica Cure

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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

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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

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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

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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

Romanian Lessons" (previously published in Plume), "True North" (previously published in Little Stone Journal), and "Cochilia, Black Sea," a never before published poem for Iamb!

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