my thirty-first April pe pământul muritor,
this is how I know I’m getting older:
nu mai am chef să mă plimb prin București.
toată ziua în livadă la Jilava.
I listen to Șerban’s drowsy bees
under the gutui. I sit by the geese
and savour Mimi’s gulaș la pirostrie.
I follow Mihai around the garden
and glue leaves in my notebook.
Pătrunjel. Roiniță. Rozmarin.
Vreau să desenez frunzele pe de rost,
to inherit amintiri, earn the end of this earth.
text you a photo of ierbarul meu,
a video of Mimi stirring
ciorba de lobodă cu leuștean,
and you want the recipe.
look up lobodă and choke on orach.
I look up leuștean and oval my lips into lovage.
A Toronto blogger says “orach is the new kale.”
A Washington blogger says “lovage,
which sounds like ‘love’ and ‘luggage,’
means love-ache, ache being
a medieval name for parsley.”
more I read
the less I want to translate
leuștean și lobodă
into orach and lovage.
less I translate
the more I draw
leuștean și lobodă
for you, me, us.
a planet 31 light years away
faţă de pământul nostru muritor.
A year there durează 8 ore.
stay here, în livadă la Jilava.
Citim de la 11 pană la 7, desculți, cu părul ud.
We’ll label leaves, catalogue the corners
of leuștean, lobodă, maghiran,
pătrunjel, roiniță, rozmarin.
Adriana Oniță [photo credit: Shawna Lemay] is a poet, artist, educator, and researcher with a PhD in language education. She writes and teaches in English, Romanian, Spanish, French, and Italian. As founding editor of The Polyglot, Adriana is proud to have published more than 200 writers and artists working in over 55 languages. Her recent multilingual poems appear in CBC Books, The Globe and Mail, and Tint Journal. She is also the author of two chapbooks: Misremembered Proverbs (above/ground press, forthcoming 2023) and Conjugated Light (Glass Buffalo, 2019). Adriana works as editorial director for the Griffin Poetry Prize and lives between Edmonton and Sicily. Discover her work at adrianaonita.com, and connect with her on social media: IG: adi.onita, Twitter: adi_onita, FB: Adriana Onita.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan