The odd smell of time itself

When I came back to my old life, where the roots of my ancestors – as far as I know – have always grown, the first thing I noticed was the smell. The streets of Bucharest were covered in an ethereal but very familiar scent of fried onions, chicken soup, and mouldy walls, with a few notes I couldn’t exactly name, but part of the entire bouquet. The end of March had freezing weather with snowstorms, something unusual for that time of year. Still, the smell was following me on every street I walked on, like a very annoying clock alarm telling me to wake up. It was almost time to meet my parents, my childhood, after just a few therapy sessions where I discovered I had serious issues because of that time. Abandonment issues, my counsellor said, but they’re not that rare. You have an anxious attachment style, Mel, and it’s good that we discovered it now so you can read all about it and see how you can work with it. Well, ms counsellor, I doubt that I could ever work with it, as it’s been two years since I moved back and I feel like I’ve got nowhere near resolving the issues. If anything, it’s been worse since then. I moved city and thought that I wouldn’t feel that smell again, but it’s all over the place. It’s like smelling time, not onions, or chicken, or mould.


Am deschis geamul să simt miros
de ploaie 

am ridicat mâna stângă
și-am prins-o de fierul forjat

mâna dreaptă de pe tastatura fierbinte
ca un gând de noiembrie și mana stângă rece
și-au făcut mudrele proprii
stropite cu apă de fântână
săpată cu mulți, mulți ani în urmă

Așa miroase ploaia. 

Când inspir,
burta mi se umple de gânduri julite la coate și genunchi

și să le scarpin pe lângă coajă
îmi țin respirația 
până expir
un mmm tânguit, chinuit și scheunat ca de câine ud.

Mudra dhyana mă transportă
într-o stare profundă
concentrată ca o supă sau un tren plin-ochi
de navetiști
fiecare din ei aruncându-mi cartonașe
cu răspunsuri automate

Din vana cu hidromasaj ies tentacule albastre
să-mi mângâie starea de seninătate 
și să-mi extragă, una câte una,
să-mi taie unghiile încarnate și să-mi stropească macii
cu var
din greșeală

this feeling is my twin brother
it follows me everywhere, it wears the same clothes
and cuts its nails the same way
but it doesn’t like the oranges

i like oranges.
i peel them roughly and don’t mind getting my hands dirty
to experience a brief moment of not thinking about

making love.
that phrase is just like a ghost phone ringing at your neighbor’s
every time you hear it thinking it’s yours
but it isn’t, brenda

symptoms of lovesick include (but aren’t limited to) cold shivers
in waves, when you look out the window
and then goosebumps on your feet