We met where the grasses meet the water.
You said that your language has no distinction between green and blue.
It’s all just optics,
Somewhere on the spectrum.
Even if we can see, must we name our differences?
Black and white are hues, not colours.
When I was five I broke my leg and had a dream in black and white.
I watched my bruises turn from blue to purple to red,
I am the spectrum.
You keep icons of Jesus in your apartment
Not because you’re religious,
Because you find him handsome.
You know, here we eat oranges, mangoes and limes.
Back home it was red currants,
on your apron and in the corners of my mouth.
Sour cherry jam and butter.
You recite poems you remember from your youth and offer me black tea.
We pick mushrooms and berries on our walk to the train station.
My hands are stained with wild strawberry and sting of nettles.
We walk through a wheat field,
you tell me this is the wheat you were named after.
The first spring wheat, now golden.
As are you, in all your glory.
Your veins are purple and so are the blackberries in this light.
You smile and blush but you won’t let me photograph you.
The house is washed with sunlight in the morning as we wait for the apples to ripen.
When I got older, the branches couldn’t carry my weight anymore and broke.
I remember the colours were murky,
yellow greens and blues.
Weeping willows and white birch.
Buildings adorned with murals of peasants and astronauts.
Our lineage is floating fern,
Its boletes in the sun,
or in a jar.
Pickled tomato, cucumber, garlic and dill.
I picked the beetles off of the potato plants all summer long,
and left with cattails in my hand.
They dried up and flew about the airplane,
People complained and a flight attendant put a yellow plastic bag over them.
But this is just between us,
and between us an ocean.
Photo by Polina Teif