I wasn’t born in the woods to be afraid. I know some things to be sacred, like being loved by a Romanian woman.
My body is burning with the desire to see my sisters again. The absence of their scent is making my heart sore. The last time I saw my darlings it was on my mother’s birthday. The sky was light blue, emptied of clouds. Mother’s brown eyes were wide open with joy, contoured by black eyeliner. She cried charcoal tears when we started singing for her, and my sisters and I kissed her wet lashes and sat her down, to bless her. We made a crown of wildflowers plucked from her garden and put it on her head and gathered in a circle around her, chanting ‘Regină, fii binecuvântată, căci noi suntem deja avându-te pe tine.’ We flexed our backs as if we were metamorphosing into serpents, allowing her eyes to follow us and control us like a Medusa would do with her snakes. I wish I could be under her kind spell right now, but I’m comforted by the thought of my skeleton being fractured soon by her long-yearned-for hug.
When I see my mother and sisters again, I will say to them ‘You have no idea how empty the streets in this town are without Romanian iele bringing light into this still life.’