Poland. I feel like I’ve seen it before. The buildings are weary but the business signs are shiny and new. The reds and yellows and blues of commercial signs sparkle over an exhausted history of one occupation after another. Alleys that seem like they must have known death, which lead to cafes full of candlelit windows. Graffiti is delicately scrawled on the stones. There is rain in the air. People are laughing. The trees are so bright. I feel like I can see all of the different histories around me, centuries of war reflected in the glass tram windows. Kings and constitutions and bishops. I stare hopelessly at everyone who walks past me, wondering.
The train runs alongside the river, greened over with trees, and I can’t stop looking at all of these faces. The Lithuanians, Belorussians, Poles, Czechs, Jews, Catholics, Protestants. The Russians and the Ukrainians. I just want to watch them and be silent. I want them not to know who I am.
It is enough to be here and look.