Romana Iorga

Shadow Children

We look just like you.

Faces, limbs, fingers, toes.


        They’re yours.


We have no skin of our own.

        Why bother,

when we can always



You think we’re a myth.


We slip into the empty spaces

        between words,

we are

their silent shadows.


        Our mouths

are filled with moths.


One whisper and your skin

slides off its flesh.

                 It wraps

around a shadow hand

like a discarded coat.


Our hair is our own. It burns.


You, who are blind,


through your small lives

believing they would last



Death walks among you,

                 hair ablaze,

whispering names

        as lovers do


sweet nothings.




Originally from Chisinau, Moldova, Romana Iorga lives in Switzerland. She is the author of two poetry collections in Romanian. Her work in English has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals, including The Nation, Salamander, New England Review, as well as on her poetry blog at

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