It started with a simple question, innocent enough: Why am I me, why am I not you? Soon it grew into a sapling, and then turned into a cherry tree. I picked the first fruit from its crown, and found I’d picked you. But there’s nothing in the background, and I can’t see my own face (directly), let alone the back of my head ― whereas you have a stereoscopic grasp of me: you see my true colours, you smell my entrails. There was a time when I avoided you like the plague. But, as always, your patience is golden, your caress sisterly and chaste. Now I try looking into your eyes, hoping to find a decent image. How I wish I could invent a secret language that we share, something to tie us to one meaningful place. There’s a promise taking root in the far distance, but I know it’ll be out of tune and become a passion play. The cherry blossom season is short-lived: the garden is quickly saturated with pink on the ground, and I daren’t tread on the masses of fallen petals even though I know you’d be leading the way. The other day I whispered into the mirror, and suddenly realised, to my dismay, I couldn’t remember my mother’s voice, not even a muffled trace. Out of the depths of ordinary fabrics and juxtapositions you smiled at me, and a frisson rose slowly from our in-between space. Turning round to catch a glimpse of your enigmatic face I felt reassured, for the first time, that you’ll always be my companion, even though you’ll never be mine.