“The Curse” by Romana Iorga

Candele, Andrew Reilly
The lake boiled. In late morning, the fish
jumped in the air, swam in the stream
of light, turned fiery red,
died before they hit the water.
Frogs leaped in the grass,
sprawled under trees,
pressed their parched bellies to the cold
earth, oblivious of us, of the white
crane flying over the reeds,
calling out to its nestlings.
We sat like stones on the shore,
watched a muskrat
dart out of its lodge, its usual neat vee
a zigzag of frantic lines.
We ran through the woods
shielding our faces against the black
smoke of gasoline, burning,
shouting go get the cans! hoping no one
had seen us.
                           Deep in the woods, the lake
              rose in the air, glided over trees,
                                         followed us, wandering
Cains, with nothing
                          to press our scalded eyes to, no water
             cold enough to wash
                                       the fire away.


Originally from Chisinau, Moldova, Romana Iorga lives in Switzerland. She is the author of two poetry collections in Romanian. Her work in English has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals, including New England Review, Rust + Moth, Tupelo Quarterly.


Andrew Reilly has published many photos in Another Chicago Magazine.