The old beer factory. by Anastasia Cojocaru

It was one of those burning summers when I must have been about four or five. I usually went outside our building into the sun and ran back in the cold of the stairwell. I thought that I was tricking heat from following me everywhere when I went outside.

My mother didn’t drink much but she bought some alcohol from time to time when my dad came round. That summer we went to the old beer factory next to our house. The afternoon heat was unbearable. Me and my mother stepped into a small room with light green tiles and a bizarre machine behind which I saw a lady sitting down. She smiled at us when we came in. The cold of the stairwell was fading to me now, compared to the thickness of the cold I found in the tiny room at the old beer factory. My mother asked for two litres of beer. The lady pushed down the tap and this golden foamy liquid came out. Its foam was so white and fluffy that I almost wanted to touch it, just the way I wanted to touch puffy white cats when I saw them. The lady filled my mother’s dark green bottle and we left. I asked my mother if I could try a tiny mouth of that foam. This is how I tasted my first beer: rich and cold sliding along my throat, chilling my melting body. 

Anastasia Cojocaru 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 uses poetry to wrangle meaning from a senseless world, to crystallize profound moments into words, and spread awareness about ecological change. Find her @nastiacojocaru on Twitter and Instagram.