Hummingbirds Have Black Hearts

Published in / Opublikowane w: On Life’s Path. Contemporary Writers of Poland,

edited by Danuta Błaszak and Anna Maria Mickiewicz

Date of publication / Data publikacji: 2017 (Dreammee Little City)



The place was steeped in mist and sulphuric vapours. Black islands clustered together in the middle, surrounded by lush greenery dotted with plumes of smoke oozing from the ground here and there. Parts of the asphalt islands were like quick sand. Between them there were narrow canals of liquid, which reflected light like graphite, not like water. Some of the canals bubbled and hissed. Some contained black, sticky tar. Some of the puddles of water were yellowish, frothy, releasing vile gasses, ready to be ignited.

The black islands shifted constantly, moving away from each other, canals getting wider and deeper, and then closing up again.


‘Lilies fuh de ladies,’ the guide said and plunged into the pool full of pink and lavender water lilies of a kind I have never seen before. ‘And dese parts yuh can curry,’ he added, breaking the thick stalks into smaller pieces.

Yeah, why not, after all in this country people curry pretty much everything.

‘Buh be careful with the cashew fruit, nuh. Ee’ll stain yuh teeth,’ he said, forgetting to add that the shell of the nut is actually poisonous. I googled it later. The nut is not a nut but a seed and the fruit is not a fruit but a swollen stalk. Go figure. It was yummy though. It made my lips go numb and it burned them.


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