Nora Iuga

sam remembers the wedding at cana
by Nora Iuga

Translated from Romanian by
Adam J. Sorkin and Diana Manole

sam counts the passengers on the bus
thinks of the twelve apostles
notices that women were omitted
adds them back it makes them twenty-four
water becomes wine as at the wedding at cana
he gets closer to paradise
look at that empty lot
where grass doesn’t get scythed
where hair doesn’t get cut
where armpits don’t get shaved
look at that wagon covered with a tarp
and a dog stretched out in back
the angel of dogs
dreams of people
a man and a woman
move about there two happy lice
on the trail blazed by god’s comb
and those horses with their harness bells
at worship
under the only tree in town
sam suddenly closes his eyes
“please god don’t let them bolt across the road
in front of the bus”

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 2.

Nora IugaNora Iuga was born on 4 January 1931 and made her debut in 1968 with the collection of poems It Isn’t My Fault. Because of their “morbid eroticism,” Iuga’s work was banned by the communist censors between 1971 and 1978. Since then, she has published 15 collections of poems, including The Hunchbacks’ Bus (2001, rpt. 2010), and, most recently, The Wet Dog is a Willow Tree (2013).

Adam J. Sorkin has translated more than forty-five books of contemporary Romanian literature, and his work has won the Poetry Society (U.K.) Corneliu M. Popescu Prize for European Poetry, among other awards. Recent books include The Book of Winter and Other Poems by Ion Mureșan; A Path to the Sea by Liliana Ursu, translated with Ursu and Tess Gallagher (Pleasure Boat Studios); Medea and Her War Machines by Ioan Flora, translated with Alina Alina Cârâ (University of New Orleans Press); and The Vanishing Point That Whistles: An Anthology of Contemporary Romanian Poetry.

Diana Manole’s books include Angel with a Canadian Visa (2011), Oh, That’s Too Much! (2000), and Love on the Elevator (1997). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in English in The Nashwaak Review, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Untethered, Event and Grain Magazine in Canada, POEM in the U.K., and Third Wednesday, Absinthe, and Lunch Ticket in the U.S.

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