First day, a gaunt man summons me gently,palm tapping the seat next to him.Before words butter the air,he's helped himself to my loaf.
I ride depot to depot,on tales of the pianist wife dead twenty years,cloven-hooved politicians,spiders that abandon irradiated eggs.
I relearn frantically, though ankles swellas I high-heel uneven cobblestones.One morning, I almost tripover the man splayed in the gutter
soiled, unconscious. While I wait, out of habit,for the ambulance, a woman picks off antscrisscrossing his face, deposits themone by one in the cracks of tarmac.
The bread kiosks make generosity easy—one hand pays, the other gives away.One beggar pushes the hot loaf back, grumblesLet bread be all you know till maggots get you.
A month into, as I spray-paint yellow stripeson city dumpsters most likely to holdunspoiled food, a woman with silver eyesbarters her scavenger stick for my skin.
Body, I returned you to the land of our makingwithout translator, but don't be afraid to bruise.Back in the comforts of Americabread will again be nothing but bread. [End Page 109]
Mihaela Moscaliuc was born and raised in Romania. Her collections of poetry include Immigrant Model and Father Dirt. Her books as a translator include Clay and Star by Liliana Ursu and The Hiss of the Viper by Carmelia Leonte. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Le Chateau de Lavigny (Switzerland), and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts; she also received a Fulbright fellowship to Romania.