Your whisper startled me and as I turned you sat near and then moved nearer still- thigh to thigh then leaning closer, continued ~ “Hi,” you asked, “where you from?” Your English was spotty- and THAT dumb look staring me down, daring me to question ever again any ‘where’ that I might be… um… from.
Then came the soft syllables ripe and clean – “I don’t know anymore.” and that was all. And I knew it was true but it wasn’t all – not really, because in that moment I saw so very much I really really didn’t want to ever see – again. My origin. My “from”.
lasă- MĂ sa te la o plimbare duc.
We bond over the fact we’ve both had Chlamydia.
We laugh hysterically about nothing.
While the world delights in our discomfort. N-avem nimic de pierdut.
You didn’t realize our connection was more mind than it was body.
Gust sarutul strămoșilor mei prin gura mea . If we get lost, we’ll drive lost.
The opal moon, hammocked low on the peak. My lambskin glove against the wheel.
Grab a black caffeine burst and trust me as pilot.
Ține-mă la răspundere pentru ostatic tău. Moartea se apropie cu repeziciune.
Must remember to drive on the other side of the street. (Things are different here)
A place where time left behind, where the fallen heros did not retire in comfort, where the afterburn of communism is the very air they breathe, and true art is pronouncing everyone’s three middle names just right. Where the cart of bread moves along and the hungry queue follows, where mother’s had once sent their babies down the danube for a better life in the west.
Where as a young boy I would bring fruit, objects that shine, so Bunica would make marmalade of every taste spread on Pită de Pecica, roasted directly on the hearth. The tender round pastry that made its way to the table of dictators, and impressed them. Sticky lips and limbă – we gorged ourselves until dawn. My subscription to anglo saxon has just expired. Unfearing of this roma-symmetry and the rear view mirror, my hook nose, profound incisors, my dark circles (without even being tired.) A ghost still aching for his fingers reaching for the east. A gem that lost its facets to age. I’ve practiced all the lines, excused my culture just for you. Sat in the soil until I smelled like centipede. Tried to manipulate it but was unable. Scowled at my trespasses against my own blood. Once and for all, I become the noisy neighbor celebrating holiday, dead fathers and holy mothers, a language you might never trust.