|via "Remembering Osh"|
To the west, through the helicopter’s tea-colored portals, I can see Uzbekistan; the cotton fields and cherry trees of the Fergana Valley; and a long, maniacal border severing one village from the next. I imagine, for a moment, an engorged Stalin, dragging a fountain pen down a wide gray map. Skirting his line, as though his hand ignored the topography, march row after row of mountaintops. They look cold and lifeless from on high. They divide Bishkek from the farmlands and become impassable in winter. Reminding the Russified Kyrgyz, who prefer white rice, of those hotheaded Uzbeks, who prefer red. But that’s enough imperial history.To read this and more from Phoebe 40.2, as well as other debut nonfiction, visit PhoebeJournal.com.