Romana Iorga

From One Leaf to Another

You finally rest your charred,
tender edges on softer air.
There’s much you don’t know
yet about your life. How to
stop pretending you’re human
when asleep and become instead
the tree you’ve always carried
within you. How to grow roots
when you stand in one spot,
barefoot. How to lean your cheek
against someone’s silence.
All you do is litter the universe
with wordswhat is the difference?
They might as well be leaves.
I hear them rustle in your fingertips.
I hear them buzz in your sap.
There’s a credible patch of you
that’s all tree, waiting for someone
to notice. The green, more vivid
inside it, the ridged brown, merely
more. Even the heartwood gapes
like a wound filled with sunlight.
If you care about me, close your eyes.
Pretend nothing touches them,
except the silent wing of an owl.
How softly it sweeps over your
heavy eyelids. How soon it is gone.
Only its whoosh is still here—
a branch scraping the roof 
of a no-longer-human memory. 

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, Gulf Coast, Redivider, as well as on her poetry blog at