butterflies on the dress. Mama buttons up my coat. I can’t
see the butterflies anymore.
Karlo is driving the car. Mama says it isn’t his. It belongs to
the state. I don’t know the state. I don’t know who the state
is. It has never been in our kitchen.
I’m sitting near Karlo. Mama is sitting behind me, I know.
She put on a gray dress and a scarf on her head. I’m wearing
the dress with butterflies. Karlo doesn’t say anything.
Neither does Mama. Now.
I’m looking at the floor. I’m pressing my coat onto the dress
so that the butterflies can’t fly off. I see bits of branches. I
see leaves. Dry leaves. On the ground.
Then I look through the window. I have my hands on the
glass. The road falls steeply down. I see houses running
past. People on the road running past. I see them and then I
don’t see them anymore. They’re behind me, I don’t know
where. Then I see other people, other houses. I’d stand on
tiptoe. But I can’t. I’d sing. I hear Mama. She’s singing now.
Just a little. Then she says: Don’t be scared, Ballerina. We
won’t fall… All the roads in Trieste are like this … We’re at
the top, they’re in Trieste …
Then Mama says quickly, Look, look there, can you see the
sea… Can you see it, Ballerina?