‘I didn’t think it was my fault, but thank you’: feminist poetry from Romania by Ileana Negrea and Cătălina Stanislav — The Calvert Journal


Drama in the hospital

Written and translated by Cătălina Stanislav

“It’s not your fault” is something you hear quite often after a breakup.

I didn’t think it was my fault, but thank you.

It is also a certain tonality.

Similar to how this lady I shared a hospital room with would ask me every morning:

“How are you sweetheart?”

plump and sweet

Me bound like I just had a car crash

I actually had a piercing infection, but it got serious, because that’s been my talent, forever.

I’m fine, that’s what I tell people, like I’ve been seriously ill.

It’s not like I could tell them

I watched series with doctors and beautiful women

I know Meredith is a terrible actress and has the most annoying laugh

but after six seasons i ended up loving it

Each episode seems to have two essential things:

there is always someone who dies and someone who has not confessed his love

someone gets hit by the bus or dies in a plane crash

and, in the last minutes of his life, decides to say:

hey, so i just wanted to let you know that i’ve loved you for 10 years

then he cries

he’s in love too, but he’s a man, he didn’t know

Take a house and a dog, we’ll have a lake and a dock

he said between sobs

and one of those swings

(the swing and the dog will just be there when they buy the house)

I’m fine, I know that in real life people don’t burst into hospital rooms with a frenzied 10 minute speech at the end of which they carelessly kiss each other against the walls while their friends watch behind the glass door.

In real life, I think people break up and then have poor relationships for years.

while checking someone else’s facebook status

and go to Russian sites

to watch instagram stories anonymously.

typing the username in the search bar, their heart is beating so fast, their fingers are shaking,

almost as if they were breaking into a hospital room

declare one’s love to a dying person

In real life, people buy plane tickets with ultimatums

they end up nowhere

then they suffer quietly behind blue screens.

If you don’t wake up, don’t see their face and are completely overwhelmed with pure joy, then nothing is worth it anymore, that’s what a friend told me one morning in Bucharest, when he stood drunk in the red light of the hotel near the station. I never know if I feel more alone when I come or when I leave. Or if I stayed.

I’m well.

I already googled you three times

I feel like I’m going crazy

I am terrified

that if I die in a plane crash

we won’t even have those three minutes for me to tell you

how many times I dream that you are in my kitchen in the morning.


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