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Syndic Literary Journal

At Night Inside

Roxana Ilie

Translated from the Romanian by the poet 

Narrated by Bill Wolak

there grew a tree 

behind the house  

at the border between the two fingers of the middle hand 


at night the tree retreated inside the hand 

only quarterly shaken every morning by people 

you too were among them you the Domenik who gathered 

the roots between his knees with the force of a snake  

stained by the fingers of the waxed women 


that tree carried on from dawn till dusk 

leaning against your chest saying do you renounce the living ones I do 

do you renounce the dead ones I do and the half-dead ones  

with flies in their bag for better 

days when the waxed women will kiss 

the crosses on your chest and wash your feet in your 

tears in your saliva in your cold fingernails on top of the  



Roxana Ilie is a poet and translator from and into German, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Italian. Her poems have been translated into Italian (Zeta Internationale, Udine, Italy), into English (Ireland, Turkey, USA), into Albanian (Bilingual anthology – Nine poets from Craiova), and into Turkish (Șiirden Magazine, Istanbul, Turkey). She has received several important national prizes for her translations and for poetry; she translates every year for the poets invited at the World Poetry Festival “Mihai Eminescu,” and she has been included twice in the festival’s anthology.  




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