The black cherry tree. and 3 more, shorter, by Anastasia Cojocaru

It was at the back of the garden
by the coșar filled with last year’s corn.
There were only a couple of steps
between the coșar and the edge of the forest.
A long field of corn was stretching
from the wooden fence facing the road
to the black cherry tree.

I’d find the green corn in its husks
with the longest silk
and pretend it was a doll with long hair.
Then I’d look for another and play with both.
There wouldn’t be long
until we’d put the long ladder
against the black cherry tree and pick its cherries.
We’d make bitter cherry confiture
and I’d dip my fingers in the jar.

Nocturnal visits.
In my dreams
I'm going through
the skeletons
in my closet.
I'm opening
the parcels in which
I'm keeping
their sliced meats
and packing them back
unpacking them
and packing them back.
I wish they'd speak to me
but their jaws are locked
still telling their stories
through their teeth
when they visit.

The cough.
I’m sitting in a chair.
I can hear the echo of my cough
in the empty room.
It looks like it’s been
strangely expanded
it doesn’t smell
or look like Anastasia
lives there anymore.

Wood soaked in metal juice.
It smells like wood
soaked in metal juice

this car that’s taking me away
together with 13-14 pieces of luggage,
each of them consisting of
several balls of thread
according to my grandma.

I have to keep them all together
so that they won’t fall off
the wooden placard
along this endless platform
on our way to the burgundy train.

Anastasia Cojocaru is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen in English and International Relations. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Policy at Sciences Po Paris. She is a queer woman of Romanian heritage. Her poetry and prose are inspired by her memories growing up in post-communist Romania, the time she spent abroad, and Romanian superstitions, myths & folklore. She writes about moments that she has been affected by in a way that helps her process and understand what she feels. She also loves practising yoga, cycling, and going to tango classes. Find her @nastiacojocaru on Instagram and Twitter.