The heart of the city keeps sliding, the soil slippery over underground waters
with people seeking refuge,
the heart of the city keeps skidding downwards, burying itself under the sliced hill
where before the demolition houses could barely be seen among the trees
apple, cherry, peach, quince, houses with deep cellars
plentiful gardens – a cornucopia the green belt encircling the city.
These gardens once yielded rich harvests, provided for a multitude of people
– now replaced by rows of high-rises that will quickly age and turn ugly.
Lanes with trees arching above them, linden and honeysuckle
remain as wraiths for those who, fewer and fewer, can still conjure them in memory.
The heart of the city unravels, hides, gathers itself up again unwillingly, moves on,
bones relocated when the maniacal leader has ordered hanging lakes like Babylonian gardens
the heart of the city sinks with the dry bones left behind, crushed under concrete
above which waters flow and gush.
In spring, fresh shoots grow, streams of blossoms pour forth, even though
the caterpillar tracks of bulldozers will level them once again
The heart of the city flies to the four points of the compass
with the dust and grit that until yesterday had been houses
the heart of the city bleeds in the huge buckets filled with boiling hot cement
that froze in minutes on the higher floors in the deadly winter cold of 1984.
The worker at his designated level stirs the mixture in the bucket a bit
and hurriedly splashes the icy coating on the walls of the new apartment building
from which next spring large chunks of wall are going to crash down
on those who will have been compelled to move there.
Oh, the heart of the city throws parties till dawn, under an orgy of strobes, under neon signs,
in buildings that have waited for years to be torn down and now
are almost ready to crumble on their own:
beneath the stucco wing of an angel forgotten by his masters
a tree sends out its roots.
The heart, the heart that sank again last night, when they demolished the most gorgeous
Belle-Époque villa in the neighborhood, which had just been restored.
The heart of the city, this heart
that had hoped Ceaușescu took all the evil with him
wherever he departed to.