Forgive Me: A Cento

What moves through the human body
                       away from
                 our silence
knows forgiveness. Miles from the limits
       of whatever is
              slow as black smoke,
the sky forgives.

Don’t wait for anything else.
                     We become muzzles
              sealed with stubborness.
Eating, too, is a thing now only for others.
       This is the way water
                   remains upon the sun,
red with pain’s leaping ember.

Anything more from you now–
                    rich bass notes
             from walnut speakers,
inebriation, more ink–
    measured against all the dark,
         is a world.
I am not any closer to saying what I mean.

Listen to what the water says.
                 Let meaning
        burrow into molars.
I am a fool. Even as the red impatiens
            wither and brown,
                  forgive me.
Hear the leaves? I am already memory.

Sources: [Meredith Stricker, Cristopher Soto, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Denis Johnson, Tommy Archuleta, Monica Youn, Elizabeth Willis, Myriam Moscona, Leonora Speyer, Rodney Gomez, Terese Svoboda, Joshua Beckman, Jane Hirshfield (1), (2), (3), Jean Valentine, Dan Albergotti, Felicia Zamora, Allison Benis White, Sam Hamill, January Gill O’Neill, Rita Dove]

Romana Iorga

Originally from Chisinau, Moldova, Romana Iorga lives in Switzerland. She is the author of two poetry collections in Romanian. Her work in English has appeared or is forthcoming in Bellingham Review, The Hunger, American Literary Review, PANK, and others, as well as on her poetry blog at