Zerina Zahirović





THROUGH THE GLASS DOOR, which I open with my head, I pass on all fours as its hinges squeak like the dawn whose break came crashing down into my abdomen. The hooky hand of Captain Hook, hooked to my trouser leg, has big eyes and big teeth and a big hooky head, and as it drags me backwards, my own hands are a cramp trapped in mid-air. Maybe I’m dying. Maybe a half of me is dying. A quarter. A bit of me which fits into the threshold of the house door, inhabited by bugs. Flies. Medflies. Dragons. Hydras. Medusas. The water running down my legs is a flood in which now float the spectres from the threshold like snowflakes in snow globes. 

Corridors in hospitals are much too sterile. Corridors in hospitals are much too white. Corridors in hospitals have benches occupied by identity cards. Which have no identity. Void they are. Corridors in hospitals are much too long for quadrupeds such as myself. Corridors in hospitals are cramps of self-destruction in my stomach. I bring the eyebrows on my brow into the furrows in the fields waiting for the rain, as I wrinkle my skin in which there isn’t any elastane from which they make maternity wear for women who bear tiny humans under their breasts in the swollen balloons which become livid of colour in the ninth month, the time when we walk on our hands like clowns at the circus lest the wonders should fall out of us.

Corridors in hospitals are the sweat breaking through my pale skin. It’s on the verge of death, and its epithelial particles will evanesce into outer space around Galactus, who devours our children. In hospital corridors, nurses hiss curses as they turn you on your sides, for you’ve started to fall into unconsciousness which is not the consciousness I lose but the consciousness which wriggles away from me of itself, and the knuckles on my digits become much too stiff to crush in the mortar which is a pond for the fish we hatch and kill. Hatch and kill. Hatch and kill on incandescent gridirons which are my ribs which suck in my skin. Buddha behind my back peels my skin off with one hand. Then with the other hand. Then with the third hand. Then with the fourth hand. Fifth. Sixth. Seventh. Eighth. Then with one foot. Then with the other. He squashes me between his toes between which I supplely squeeze like a spiral, and I become a crack in Amazonia, whose dry skin no rain could ever revive.

Hands of nurses are icicle-cold. They are as cold as the angels which I knock off the walls of the freezer with a knife in springtime when lives start to sprout from acorns. Their hands are as cold as the death which grabs me by the shoulder and opens sesame on my back. As the death which enters my broken spine whence it crawls into my collarbone and makes its way to the small depression in my cranium in order to freeze me like Disney, Walter Elias. The highest of voltages couldn’t make my eyelashes lash whilst they touch the corners of the eyes which sink into their sockets as Edward Scissorhands butchers me in the Boggs family garden. My digits clench the handles much too obstinately for me to sink into a deep sleep which is an aquarium with goldfish. Someone somewhere serves them on the plates I smashed on the floors which are as soft as the cashmere into which I sneaked as if into a snakeskin when I learnt that snowdrops were sprouting in me. The cramps in my abdomen are minefields in which the explosions are strong enough to send me flying all the way to the sandy shores which roll me into the sea into which I sink and become its salt. Nursely hands are plenty cold enough and plenty solid enough like the iron stretcher I hit my nape on, and my eyes emerge from their sockets like the eyes of a snail. A film unravels before them, woven from great white hospital ceilings with flickering rows of neon lights whose light sinks through the craters I have in lieu of eyes and glides through the corners of my mouth cavity with which I speak the speech I do not have, for my tongue is a paralysed limb which refuses to embrace my corrugated palate. Wizened, dry, and taut as a bed sheet, my body is ready for the scream I swallow.


Breathe! Push! Harder! I hear as the coldness of the glass door through which I’ve already passed on all fours on the first and the second and the third and the fourth hidden snake leg slits my veins from which water will gush forth instead of blood. The knuckles of my digits are much too hard and they fit the handles of the machine onto which I’ve been pushed by the icy-cold elbows of the nurses who hiss curses as they hop around me in their light-blue scrubs. Their diamond earrings sparkle on the fleshy endings of their ears, with which they can’t hear my silent cry, for the tongue is much too dead to fetch the palate and the palate is much too far for the tongue to fetch and much too unnecessary for the scream which barely breaks through my dry, raspy throat, the Sahara which will swallow my bones. Its volume makes my insides ring like Notre Dame, and it makes its way to each and every corner in the high ceiling, which still glows like the incandescent mass of white into which I’m Sinking. Then it finds its way through the cracks of the big hospital windows and rings out in the streets of the town. Then in the streets of another town. Then another. Then the whole country. Then in another country. Then in one more country. In twelve more countries. It breaks through the Carpathians and inhabits an entire continent. Then another continent. Then one more continent. One continent after another. Then the troposphere. The stratosphere. The mesosphere. The thermosphere. All the spheres. One planet. Another planet. Third planet. Pluto. The corners of the universe and the wormlike stars crumble from its volume into an ozone hole as my lungs push the spring out of my abdomen.


I am the water flowing out of me. I am a river sizzling like water poured into an incandescent pan with incandescent oil. I am a fire which started itself. I lie on embers, and my wet, inelastic skin turns into a sore which swells like the river I am, which flows away between the rusty bars of sewer cracks and trickles down the pipes which hold up the sink, the cradle for our children. In it, someone distant and strange washes his white hands which will rip the spring from my uterus.

Now! Push! Harder! Deeply! Breathe deeply! No less than untold thousands of horsepower have congregated in my wooden body, for I am a swallowed Pinocchio whose nose grows and pierces through the blowhole on the melon of a beaked whale. Put me to sleep, ye white angels who butcher innards wearing sterile gloves which fetch a part of me. All my children. All the children who will never be fetched.

I am a worm and the cramp drawn on my face is actually a crumpled up smile. From the throat, which is a clip holding together my head and my torso, bursts a chain of screams as the neon lights again appear to me as the sun, whose grooved rays scorch every second ring of my wormlike body. Every fourth ring. Every sixth ring. Every eighth ring, and I turn into the black-and-yellow carcase of a bee from which sprouts a stinger above which sprouts a pistil round which sprout petals, and the hands of someone who’s cocked his head are turning this picture around.

Push! Harder! I hear with my vermiculose auricles as gloves sterile and white as a hospital corridor rummage through my innards, fetching the Holy Grail which for nine, one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine, months I bore, walking on my hands lest the sun come running out of me. Harder still! I hear as I crush the handles of the bed with the obstinate knuckles of my digits into fine dust which floats in the room and lands on my wet face, turning into tiny granules which cold hospital hands wipe with wet gauze off my brow which is now a ploughed field ready to be the mother of everything which the teeth of the ploughs will unearth from it.

Harder! I hear as bloody gloves become a swollen, bloody sun which will scorch my viscera and suture the parts of my body cut out from a colouring book. From the rainbow arch stretching in my uterus leaks her red ribbon, and all the other colours in the room now look like one another. Breathe! Deeper! I hear through yelps of pain rolled up into lead balls which are now rolling on the floor. Let the whole world breathe deeply with me. Just this one more time! Breathe! Who are you, whom I push harder and harder in deep cries of pain? Let the whole world breathe deeply with me. Shriek with me, aunts, mothers, friends, ballerinas, cleaning ladies, teachers, cooks! Nothing that is wormly is alien to us. Shriek with me, worm-bear sows, as I bang my head on the metal lip of the table with needles stuck into my arms. Never shall the wounds on my womb heal.


Breathe! I hear as my eyelashes squeak under the layers of encrusted tears and my eyes stare like crazy at the wonder cut out from the colouring book of my body. And as sssore lipsss hissss "husshhh" into the sssilly sshhell of the ear, I am a mother now, and I was but a worm. Never shall the empty wombs of the world recover.


Translated by Mirza Purić

Svijet je sačinjen od praznih utroba i jabučnih sjemenki


KROZ STAKLENA VRATA KOJA otvaram glavom prolazim četveronoške dok im šarke ciče kao zora čije se svitanje sručilo u moj abdomen. Kukasta ruka kapetana kuke zakačena za moju nogavicu ima velike oči i velike zube i veliku kukastu glavu i dok me vuče unazad moje ruke su grč zarobljen u zraku. Možda umirem. Možda umire pola mene. Jedna četvrtina. Komadić mene koji može stati u prag ulaznih vrata u kojem žive kukci. Muhe. Mušice. Zmajevi. Hidre. Meduze. Voda koja otiče niz moje noge je poplava u kojoj sada, kao pahuljice u sniježnim kuglama plutaju utvare iz praga.

Hodnici u bolnicama su isuviše sterilni. Hodnici u bolnicama su isuviše bijeli. Hodnici u bolnicama imaju klupe na kojima sjede lične karte. Koje su bezlične. Prazne. Hodnici u bolnicama su isuviše dugi za četveronošce poput mene. Hodnici u bolnicama su samorazarajući grčevi u mom stomaku. Vjeđe na čelu skupljam u brazde oranica koje čekaju kišu dok gužvam svoju kožu u kojoj nema nimalo elastina. Od njega se šije odjeća za trudnice koje nose male ljude u nabujalim balonima ispod grudi, koji postaju modroplavi u devetom mjesecu, u vrijeme kada hodamo na rukama kao klovnovi u cirkusu u strahu da iz nas ne poispadaju čuda.

Hodnici u bolnicama su znoj koji se probija kroz moju blijedu kožu. Ona je na samrti i čestice epitela će se rasplinuti u vasionu oko galaktusa koji proždire našu djecu. U bolničkim hodnicima bolničari i bolničarke sikću psovke dok te okreću na bokove jer si počela padati u nesvijest koja nije svijest koju gubim nego svijest koja mi se sama otima i zglobovi mojih prstiju postaju isuviše kruti da bi ih se usitnilo u avanu koji je bazen za ribe koje mrijestimo pa ubijamo. Mrijestimo pa ubijamo. Mrijestimo pa ubijamo na zažarenim rešetkama koje su moja rebra koja usisavaju moju kožu. Buda iza mojih leđa guli moju kožu jednom rukom. Pa drugom rukom. Pa trećom rukom. Pa četvrtom rukom. Petom. Šestom. Sedmom. Osmom. Pa onda jednom nogom. Drugom nogom. Gnječi me između nožnih prstiju kroz koje se savitljivo provlačim kao spirala i postajem pukotina u amazoniji čiju suhu kožu ne može oživjeti niti jedna kiša.

Ruke bolničarki su hladne kao ledenice. Hladne su kao anđeli koje nožem obijam sa zidova zamrzivača u proljeće kada iz žireva počinju izrastati životi. Ruke su im hladne kao smrt koja me hvata za rame i otvara sezamova vrata na mojim leđima. Kao smrt koja ulazi u moju slomljenu kičmu odakle puže u moju ključnu kost i probija se do malog udubljenja na lobanji kako bi me zaledila kao disneya walta. Ni najsnažniji napon nije dovoljan da moje trepuške zatrepere dok dodiruju uglove očiju što propadaju u duplje dok me edward makazoruki kasapi u dvorištu porodice boggs. Moji prsti se isuviše tvrdoglavo grče na ručkama da bih sada propala u duboki san koji je akvarij sa zlatnim ribicama. Njih negdje neko služi u tanjirima koje sam razbijala o podove mekane poput kašmira u koji sam se uvukla kao u zmijsku kožu kada sam saznala da u meni niču visibabe. Grčevi u mom abdomenu su minska polja u kojima su eksplozije dovoljno jake da me odbace na pješčane obale koje me kotrljaju u more u koje tonem i postajem njegova sol. Bolničarske ruke su sasvim dovoljno hladne i sasvim dovoljno čvrste kao željezna nosila o koja udara moj potiljak i oči poput puževih izranjaju iz duplje. Pred njima se odmotava filmska vrpca satkana od velikih bijelih bolničkih stropova sa treperećim nizovima neonskih sijalica čija svjetlost propada kroz kratere koje imam umjesto očiju i klizi kroz uglove moje usne šupljine iz koje govorim govor koji nemam jer je moj jezik paralitični ud koji neće da zagrli moje rebrasto nepce. Smežurano, suho i kao plahta zategnuto moje tijelo je spremno za vrisak koji prešućujem.




Diši! Guraj! Jače, čujem dok mi hladnoća staklenih vrata kroz koja sam već prošla četveronoške na jednoj, drugoj, trećoj i četvrtoj sakrivenoj zmijskoj nozi zarezuje vene iz kojih će šikljati voda umjesto krvi. Zglobovi mojih prstiju su isuviše tvrdi i pristaju im ručke sprave na koju su me odgurnuli ledenohladni laktovi bolničarki koje sikću psovke dok trčkaraju oko mene u svjetlo-plavim odorama. Dijamantne naušnice im svjetlucaju na mesnatim završecima ušiju kojima ne čuju moj tihi jauk jer jezik je isuviše mrtav da dobavi nepce i nepce je isuviše daleko da bi ga jezik dobavio i suviše nepotrebno za vrisak koji se jedva probija kroz moje suho hrapavo grlo, saharu koja će progutati moje kosti.Od njegove jačine moja utroba zvoni kao notre dame i on se probija do svakog ugla na visokom stropu koji još uvijek svjetli kao užarena masa bijelog u koju propadam. Potom se kroz pukotine velikih bolničkih prozora probija i odzvanja ulicama grada. Potom odzvanja ulicama drugog grada. Trećeg. Pa državom. Odzvanja u drugoj državi. U još jednoj državi. U još dvanaest država. Probija se kroz karpate i naseljava čitav jedan kontinent. Pa drugi kontinent. Pa još jedan kontinent. Kontinent za kontinentom. Potom troposferu. Stratosferu. Mezosferu. Termosferu. Sve sfere. Jednu planetu. Drugu planetu. Treću planetu. Pluton. Uglovi univerzuma i crvolike zvijezde se od njegove jačine osipaju u ozonsku rupu dok moja plućna krila izguravaju proljeće iz abdomena.




Ja sam voda koja iz mene otiče. Ja sam rijeka koja cvrči kao voda dosuta u zažarenu tavu sa zažarenim uljem. Ja sam vatra koja je samu sebe upalila. Ležim na žeravicama i moja se mokra neelastična koža pretvara u plik koji buja kao rijeka koja jesam i koja otiče kroz zahrđale rešetke kanalizacionih pukotina i otječe kroz cijevi koje pridržavaju umivaonik, kolijevku za našu djecu.U njemu neko stran i dalek pere ruke koje će iz mog uterusa iščupati proljeće.

Sad! Guraj! Jače! Duboko! Diši duboko! Bezbroj se najmanje konjskih snaga sastalo u mom drvenom tijelu jer sam progutani pinokio čiji nos raste i potom se probija kroz mlaznicu na čeoni kljunastog kita. Uspavajte me, vi bijeli anđeli što kasapite utrobe u sterilnim rukavicama koje dobavljaju dio mene. Svu moju djecu. Svu djecu koja nikada neće biti dobavljena.

Ja sam crv i grč iscrtan na mom licu je zapravo izgužvan osmijeh. Iz grla koje je spajalica za moj torzo i glavu izbija lanac krikova dok mi se od neonskih sijalica ponovo pričinjava sunce čije izbrazdane zrake prže svaki drugi prsten mog crvolikog tijela. Svaki četvrti prsten. Svaki šesti prsten. Svaki osmi prsten i pretvaram se u žuto-crno pčelinje truplo iz kojeg izrasta žaoka nad kojom izrasta tučak oko kojeg izrastaju latice i nečije ruke okreću ovu sliku sa glavom nakrivljenom u stranu.

Guraj! Jače, čujem crvotočnim ušnim školjkama dok rukavice sterilne i bijele poput bolničkog hodnika kopaju po mojoj utrobi i dobavljaju sveti gral koji sam devet mjeseci, jedan-dva-tri-četiri-pet-šest-sedam-osam-devet mjeseci nosila hodajući na rukama kako iz mene ne bi istrčalo sunce. Još jače, čujem dok tvrdoglavim zglobovima prstiju ručke kreveta drobim u prašinu koja pluta prostorijom i rasipa se po mom mokrom licu pretvarajući se u sitne granule koje hladne bolničke ruke brišu mokrom gazom sa mog čela koje je sada preorana njiva spremna da bude majka svemu što će iz nje izroviti zubi pluga.

Jače, čujem dok krvave rukavice postaju oteklo, krvavo sunce koje će spržiti mojuutrobu i zašiti iz bojanke izrezane dijelove moga tijela. Iz duginog luka koji se rastegnuo u mom uterusu curi njena crvena traka i sve preostale boje u prostoriji sada liče jedna na drugu. Diši! Dublje, čujem kroz bolne, u olovne kugle sklupčane krikove koji se kotrljaju po podu. Neka cijeli svijet zajedno sa mnom diše duboko. Još samo ovaj put! Diši! Ko si ti što te guram sve jače i jače u dubokim bolnim kricima? Neka cijeli svijet zajedno sa mnom diše duboko. Urlajte zajedno sa mnom, tetke, majke, prijateljice, balerine, čistačice, učiteljice, kuharice! Ništa crvavo nije nam strano. Urlajte sa mnom, crvo-medvjedice, dok glavom udaram u metalni obod stola sa iglama zabodenim u moje ruke. Nikada rane u mojoj utrobi zarasti neće.

Diši, čujem dok trepavice škripe pod naslagama zakorjelih suza i oči sumanuto bulje u čudo iskruženo iz slikovnice moga tijela. I dok u šašavškoljku uha suhim usnamšapućeššš, sada sam majka, a bila samsamo crv. Nikada se prazne utrobe svijeta oporaviti neće.