How long have we been so utterly alone
together? We’ve been speaking the same
shifting language for twenty centuries, yet
it’s as if we’ve always needed translation:
trading traditions with others yet foreigners
to ourselves. I’ll take you home, feed you
to my land. We’ll meet there in the earth
and talk—my Daco-Roman words for hospitality
and hostile army are nearly the same.
You can be my brother in the mountains,
the two of us the only anti-Soviet
partisans in the bloodthirsty gorges,
putting out moons in our comrades’ eyes,
naming once more each moss, each dense trail.
You’ll grow up in the new Byzantine
empire, the wooden heartfelt prayer
of day and night—just like me, a solitary
fir on a barren rock-sharp wall, the kind
the shepherds around here talk and sing to
before felling when someone young and single dies.
**Chris Tanasescu** is a Romanian poet, academic, critic, and translator. His poetry-performance/action painting rock band Margento won the 2008 Romanian Gold Disc. His third collection _Hermaia_ is forthcoming in June from Vinea Press.
**David Baker** is Poetry Editor of _The Kenyon Review_. His new poetry collection, Never-Ending Birds, will appear in October from W. W. Norton.
My Tired Father by Gellu Naum (translated by James Brook)
Romanian Poems by Paul Celan (translated by Julian Semilian and Sanda Agalidi)
The March to the Stars by Mihai Ursachi (translated by Adam J. Sorkin)