Alter Ego

I didn’t know what she was:
that brittle, reed-like,
human-like riddle.
A paper whisper.
A burn.

She made an ark
for a language the color
of loneliness.
Words rushed to her.
So did the clouds.

It was hard to watch her
drown in the rain,
while keeping
my fingers crossed
for the rainbow.

This bruised shadow of a promise…

This bruised shadow

                                        of a promise.

I made it.           It was meant

          for her. The woman

without a face. Right

                         before I left.

Years later, things


their taste.           Bruises

          come and go.

They change

                    colors. So

          do promises. They are

spoken. Some


                    and sigh

                              and fade away.

Others eat

          everything in sight

until nothing’s left,


That mouth

          of a thousand

teeth.           A promise

          made to someone

whose face

          I’ve forgotten.

ROMANA IORGA is originally from Chisinau, Moldova, but now lives in Switzerland. She is the author of two poetry collections in Romanian, Poem of Arrival and Simple Hearing. Her work in English has appeared or is forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Cagibi, Washington Square Review, PANK, Saltfront, and others, as well as on her poetry blog at