How Many Thousands of Words?
Hanker, desire, covet, crave, long for,
fall, when they took us out of class for two months at a time
grapes, I filled one hundred buckets a day
learned English words I copied in a notebook
transferred on lists to carry around.
Groove, habit, routine, rut: each
dopamine gates of the brain, each word pungent
the dozen kinds of grapes we picked,
distance between the aura of each meaning
the grapes we tasted: Muscat Otonel,
Grind, rasp, grate, oppress: the
list of synonyms,
word linked to the other the way a couple of us
away from the group and got lost,
finding our way back in the burned colors
vineyards against the sky.
Grovel, fawn, creep, cringe, wallow, humble
ninth grade, I spent a year reading The
Portrait of Dorian Gray.
found a new word
it in my notebook and added minuscule dots
the word in the dictionary
time I looked it up again.
Grudge: stint, dole, begrudge, withhold: every
with its own aroma. A man balanced on top of a truck
a large wood basin full of grapes, boots up to his thighs
moved in the grapes, splashed, bent to pick up
bucket I hoisted up to him, and he laughed.
Cherciu was born in Romania and came to the United States in 1995. She is a
Professor of English at SUNY / Dutchess in Poughkeepsie, NY, and she writes
in both English and Romanian. Her newest book of poetry, Edible Flowers (Main Street Rag,
2015), is available at http://mainstreetrag.com/
bookstore/product/ edible-flowers. Her other books of poetry are Lepădarea de Limbă (The
Abandonment of Language) (Editura Vinea, 2009) and Altoiul Râsului (Grafted
Laughter) (Editura Brumar, 2010). Her poetry has appeared in Antioch
Review, Connecticut Review, Cortland Review, Gulf Stream Magazine, Paterson Literary Review, Poetry East, Astra, Contrapunct, Hyperion, Oglinda Literară, Pro Saeculum, Salonul Literar, Timpul,
and elsewhere. Her poetry has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize
and Best of the Net. Her web page is http://luciacherciu.webs.com.