Three Poems


Andreea Iulia Scridon





Somewhere between slums and Redemption



When, I wonder, will all the leaves on earth

sway in unison?

And when they will,

will that be the end of the world?

When will my back break

from endless guilts,

like that poor hamster dead at Christmas?

Like that,

sad quiet will hold the house.


Like that, everyone wonders:

            Do I know love?


            One thing I can say —

            I know the feel of fruit

            crushed in the grass.






In memoriam, pour toujours et à jamais



My great-grandfather lived in the apartment building next door.

The stairwell there smelled better than ours, rather like fresh paint

than stale soup.

In his foyer —



and narrow —

three things were of note:

a collection of Orthodox icons

(their glass cracked in the corner, to flaunt age, experience

and the holiness of the fissure above all),

a porcelain Cocker Spaniel, nodding incessantly, sagely,

and a photograph of me

at age six: more Italianate than Orthodox,

rosy and fringed across the brow.


In the office —

books towered perilously,

Brancusi’s Colonne sans fin,

reaching heights of five whole feet.


In the drawing room —

sat Napoleon’s bust, alabaster as mood fit,

lace curtains, breeze-fluttered, tickled him, and he had no arms

with which to swat them away,

nor the corresponding parts with which to sneeze.


Now, whenever the armoire groans,

we wonder if someone lives inside it,

though we know that wood itself speaks.

He perhaps was made of wood,

with a talent for floating

and one for burning.


It often smelled of tomato sauce, made by Mariana,

and, divinely, of thick-lensed reading glasses.

What a clear smell eyesight is:

like mountain water,

like the elixir of youth,

like the birdcage of the sky.


And when I tore the wild grass from the grave,

the earth that spilled out was wet,






The Sud

(in commemoration of obsessive and depressive episodes)




cicadas tickle:

gramophone halted at the record’s end,

rain thumping on the umbrella’s roof,

clock ticking on the Singer sewing machine


streetlamp: profane mosquito descendant 

of noble moth-moon,

that sweet gelatinous heap of your mind:

daytime you’re tired,

nighttime you’re dangerously alive,

ready to write your masterpiece at the kitchen table,


crouched in the bathtub

more wombish than anywhere else


with increasingly narrowed horizons

you go out every evening to hear the church bells

and come back with the rusted iron gate

superimposed on your ribcage,

the suede dove on a wire like a taut whip,

what you thought love

is quickly decomposing,

metamorphosed into an archeological dagger at the throat:

all that was your heart

now lies beneath the Mediterranean Basin


Blessed Virgin,

now helpless pale-faced vertigo

you’d like to take off your nervous system

and hang it up in the closet,

walk down the street like a brute,

your stems are growing in wrong directions

but the papier-mâché mask mustn’t crack,

the farce renders you

an imposter-genius


when you get home,

you’ll stand in front of the house

even if it’s past midnight

and look at it and tell yourself

that it’s good,

that what was worst has passed

and you’ll touch the storms

that have ravaged the past few days

with the finger-pads of your mind

and you’ll climb the steps

and press the doorbell


and your grandmother will open the door

and your grandfather will be in the hall

asking if you’ve arrived

and you’ll have a tomato for dinner

and everything will fester with normalcy

as it always did


what else is there to do but go home

once you’ve reached that premature Rubicon?

Sadness, like a sort of sex,

melts over the top of your head like honey from the skies

your left ovary lets out a lament

as if threatening to cry out like a child,

from hunger or tiredness,

and forgetting,

when it arrives next to the night-lamp,


like death,

the sweet face of a child









Andreea Iulia Scridon is a poet, fiction writer and a translator from Romanian to English.  She studies Creative Writing at the University of Oxford, and previously studied Comparative Literature at King’s College London.  Currently, she is assistant editor at Asymptote Journal, where she also writes.  She has published in World Literature Today, the European Literature Network, and elsewhere.  She writes at  “Moonstone” is part of a larger collection of poems on the state of Florida.  She is a contributing editor at E·ratio.