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This poem is taken from PN Review 158, Volume 30 Number 6, July - August 2004.

Four Poems Carmen Bugan

The Accordion

Every story starts like this:

That was long ago and far from here,
in a country where the names of these herbs heal -
pojarnita, sunatoare, flori de tei, romanita -
and where women were called Liliana.

When gypsies played accordions
they turned into colliding winds
at corners of unpaved streets:

dust, skirts, bells, high-heels,
waists undulated
between rough hands!

Even the cherries
in the orchard turned envious
as summers grew into burning.

Here, the sound of a street accordion
starts a slow burning in my face.

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