Collision by Mircea Cartarescu

This is the translation of one of my favorite love-poems in Romanian.


Collision by Mircea Cărtărescu


one late night I tried to give you a call but the phone died,

the handset was reeking of formalin, I unscrewed the cover of the microphone

and I found the rusty iron full of worms,

I looked for the screwdriver

and I opened the shell: the spiders stuck their webs

to the stranded wire bobbins.


on the intertwined cord, now stinky, with the corroded rubber and scratched wires

the ants had left their smell on them, I seized it, I jerked it until it came out of the

drawing pins with the plaster and everything,

I pulled it until I started to get closer

meter by meter your district to mine

crushing the pharmacies, cafeterias, breaking the sewage pipes

cracking the asphalt, pressing so much the stars of the purplish-blue sky, dusk

inbetween the houses

so that above us  only a ribbon of shiny light was left

throbbing in the burnt air, as the lightning bolt.


I pulled on the cord, and like a holy indian harnessing on the waters

the statue of c.a. rosetti slipped towards the militia

the people’s council in the second district

collided with the balcony of fire and submerged with a wedding and everything

but the latin street was smiling, I pulled on the cord, wriggling it on my arms, and

all of a sudden your house with white and pink stripes like a chalk-cake

appeared with your window on he right of my window

the windows clashing with great noise

and we were suddenly face to face

and we got closer and closer to each other

until we hugged squeezing our lips together

pulverizing our clothes, our skin, mingling our hearts,

eating our eyelashes, the shine of our eyes, ribs, blood,

crushing our spines, burning.


burning with a sizzle, as if put out with gasoline

burning with blue ice, with stalactite-smoke

with frizzling wax, with dazzling tallow

until the ashes covered the studio case and the wash-hand basin

and the spiders span their webs in our chests.

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