World Cup Suburbia























Photography: ©John Stadnicki, 2018


A Short Story About War

(dear Nichita)

I do not know how it happened but
I went to war with no guns. My fault, I admit, I
Should have done my research
Should have learnt the rules of the battlefield;
But once there I could not find the way back anymore.
‘A bit too late’ you smiled ‘pretty boys and girls should stay at home after dark’.

It did not take too long
And the soldiers found me hiding in trenches, looking for warmth.
They told me to keep in line, face the wall and take
The last breath before the firing squad.

You checked the bullets, one by one,
Gently measured the distance and
Raised your hand
Just before they pulled the trigger I suddenly asked:

‘Tell me, if I caught you one day
And kissed the sole of your foot
Wouldn’t you limp a little then,
Afraid to crush my kiss?’

It rained all night
And many days afterwards
While I kept talking
Although I could only see the top of your head.
The tips of your toes.

The Fragility of a Glass Statue in Front of an Angry Hammer

Behind the screen, I was putting my clothes back on
Thinking what the verdict would be in the white room
(I had been silently waiting my turn
Enjoying somehow the inevitable loss).
But then you dropped the pen,
And looked at the clean x-ray.

I took a chair and moved it back in the middle of the room.
As I sat down, my fingers just briefly touched your face.

I vaguely remember the conversation we had
But I know we said good bye
As I looked back, you waved,
Your left hand folding a notebook.

Since that day, I had been looking the word tenderness up
Just to see if you were right:
The fragility of a glass statue in front of an angry hammer.

A Sense of Duty

Hey, today I do not like apples
They remind me of lost teeth
And I do not sleep as I wait for the rain to stop.

I am ready to jump out of my skin
And say oi! come here world I’m ready to fight you.

You say not the fight is important
But the peace I will make with everything and everybody before I go
The way I love words and soap and your hands, as they quietly rest on the wooden table.

Hey, today I do not like letter ‘s’
It reminds me of separation but after all
You think without ‘s’ there would be no wide-sargasso-sea or stealth
And no serpent or sin or self regard but
A sudden absence.

And I …..keep…..quiet.
I let you start a revolution on my behalf
You the one to decide the colour of this red sea.

Unusual War Photograph

Out in the world, pushed on the battlefield like on a stage,
Without weapons
Just my heart to protect me.
I am wrapped in your heat as I would be in electric blankets
And each day in the open gets longer and longer.
The nights are slowly shrinking and the spring, at last!,
In the middle of this devastating, thick winter,
Makes me a bird.
I’m growing buds from all my skin pores
I am a huge naked flower.
The soldiers stop to have another look at me and take pictures.
I am that kind of unusual war photograph
Which surprisingly managed to survive bombs and bayonets
Despite everything.
I stop in your arms and my long tears enter your chest.
The pain vapours fill the air with salt
Not even the cold wind blow touches us
My roots are milk and honey.


Mixed media: Maria Butunoi


Ți’ai dus degetele la buze și
Mi’ai făcut semn să tac.
Nu întreba ce nu poate fi răspuns.
Fii pasăre, fii piatră
Fii ce vrei numai nu

Așa că ți’am întors spatele
Am intrat în somn
Atât cât se poate omenește de fericit.