Sticking with your roots, my mom always says, but I was detached, then grafted. I lean to one side. I bend a little at the branches. I am the outgrowth of so many seeds thrown together who made this rootless tree. Each flower, a different color:
One red, like the color of the sky the cold night Kurdistan was left empty after The Runaway, empty like the streets my mother left behind, nothing left but the rain flooding them.
Another blue, like my father’s house in Samarra where we spent our Eid playing hide-and-seek with cousins on the roof.
One had beautiful yellow petals that shifted to brown when you looked inside, like my sentences as a child, made up of two languages.
One white, and blank like my face when asked what my origin is, and I wouldn’t answer, afraid of a wrong answer.
Some looked like the gardenias we had in Baghdad, their scent diffused all through our garden, voluminous petals you couldn’t look away from.
The flowers were often picked, they were too beautiful to pass by and not share with a lover. The tree remained bare and fruitless. The last flower was kept trapped in a book that was never read.