The Air Is All I Have

For those of you who are nomads at heart, this poem by Romanian writer Emilia Ivancu may speak to you.


The Air Is All I Have

I have nothing –

No place to weep,

No place to die.

Times are I fiind a corner of this world in which to sleep

But it’s never more than somewhere rented.

I can look into the hearts and homes of others

But always only through the window;

All doors are meant for those who live within.

After a time

Even when drinking tea with friends

There comes a moment when I must leave —

I don’t even trouble to say that I would like to stay

And once again I peer through the window

Smiling, though in no way embittered,

At the thought that I too could have people come to tea or


I have nothing —

This is why I do not wish to give myself up to the earth.

Being rootless, I have reasons not to.

So you may let the wind carry me away

The air is all I have

I feel it, breathe it, but never can I touch it.

–Emila Ivancu, from Washing My Hair With Nettles, trans. by Diarmuid Johnson


About Lightning Heart (Vikara)

Nomad. Poet. Philosopher. Teacher. View all posts by Lightning Heart (Vikara)

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