Water News

Buletin hidrologic: cotele apelor Dunarii in ziua de 19 februarie

Every morning and every afternoon, the same
radio announcement in chilly darkened kitchens,
the famous river would flow in their imaginations

Bazias 580 centimetri, creste 10 centimetri

In this State version of geography, the Danube only
began once safely inside its borders, where it could be
monitored, measured daily, ordered scientifically

Moldova Veche 710 centimetri, creste 12 centimetri

The people would listen to the barrage of facts—
they would’ve preferred an extra fifteen minutes of music
but they were used to foraging and this had cadence

Calafat 216 centimetri, scade 28 centimetri

They heard the river rise and rise, and fall. Slowly
a picture would emerge from the water and they were able
to register each miniscule change as change. Children came

Braila 370 centimetri, scade 21 centimetri

to know the names of otherwise forgotten places, with glass
marquises sprung up like mushrooms over plaster vegetation,
ports with distances accumulated in Romans, Ottomans, Bulgarians

Și Tulcea 252 centimetri, scade 10 centimetri
Tendinta apelor Dunarii in urmatoarelor doua zile

After the last town, the sound didn’t empty out into the Black
Sea, it looped back around into the future, broken up
into centimeters of probability over the following days

Giurgiu in crestere 15 centimetri pana la 25 centimetri,
cota probabila 255 centimetri

Unknown values were hidden in these predictions: blind drop
meeting blind drop in the underground tunnels formed by
the pressure of the watershed, conjured in French at the end

Les niveaux des eaux du Danube en ce mercredi 19 februarie

On the western border, those who ventured to test the water,
documents wrapped in plastic bags, heard the static of gunshots.
There could be no doubt—a way out existed, even if one way only

Monica Cure is a Romanian-American poet, writer, and translator currently based in Bucharest. She is a two-time Fulbright grantee and her poems have appeared in Plume, RHINO, Boston Review, and elsewhere. Her poetry translations have appeared in journals such as Modern Poetry in Translation, Kenyon Review, and Asymptote, and her translation of Liliana Corobca’s novel The Censor’s Notebook (Seven Stories Press) won the 2023 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. She can be found on Twitter @MonicaCure or www.monicacure.com