Raluca Ioanid
Our eyes light up with joy 
two dusty, brown, forgotten roots, 
the lone living things in a country store devoid of produce.
Potatoes and sausages!
We buried the potatoes, peel and grit and all, into the fire’s coals.
Sausages on sticks, immersed in flames
until the skins blistered and popped.

We dreamt under stars. 

Tales of white nights and long winters 
and Arctic circles 
drew me to you. 
An Estonian childhood 
of harvesting potatoes, 
and carrying the coffins of other children
made me think I could love you, 

you too knew suffering.

Your fierceness
and the memory of all you have endured
made me want to stitch my body into yours.

We moved slowly towards each other,
two bundled up snow-beings
crossing an ice-filled tundra, 
shedding layers, 
aching for warmth.

With hope and backpacks heavy with potatoes,
we set off into the Lost Coast Wilderness.  

But the potatoes weren’t enough, 
the cold seeped into our hearts, 
and the wilderness unraveled us. 

Raluca Ioanid was born in communist Romania and raised in capitalist New York City. By day she is a Family Nurse Practitioner in Oakland, California. By night she is a trapeze flying writer of stories. She is a founding member of the San Francisco based Reverie Writing Group and a frequent contributor to the Bay Area Generations reading series.

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