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Bitterol on the Beach

Cătălina Stanislav

Had I recorded

this conversation on the beach I feel like it would have been

the equivalent of a webcam recording in 2005

when a boy told me I was beautiful

and I cried

I didn’t believe he was beautiful and this was dreadful to me

as if

it was my fault he believed I was beautiful

it’s not your fault I believe you are beautiful

even though you aren’t that beautiful anymore

even though I wouldn’t record this conversation anyway

so wouldn’t remember how sweaty I was

sinking my toes into the wet sand

while my friends lived in warmer universes, with kinder light

and people at the campground cooked meat in front of their tents

and I could feel my shoulders naked and warm

smelling of sunscreen, meat and wet wipes

I wanted to tell you that my teeth were set on edge after a Campari that wasn’t even Campari

I wanted to tell you that I fell in love with you I think

and the mountain on which women don’t set foot was looking at me

like a totally disappointed father

I felt the signs of heatstroke from that day well into the night

all while other friends and their friends as well lived in warmer universes

with kinder light

and I prayed that someone would buy me one of those pink vitamin waters

I cried tears of joy when they entered the room with it.










Translated from Romanian by Ania Radu

Cătălina Stanislav wrote Nu mă întrerupe (OMG, 2021)

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